Bayer joins forces with Google Cloud to accelerate drug discovery with quantum mechanics

Jan. 12, 2023

Bayer AG announced this week that it will be collaborating with Google Cloud to accelerate its in-silico research and development.

The two will join forces on a project that will apply Google Cloud’s custom-developed accelerators —  Tensorflow Processing Units (TPUs) — designed to run machine learning models and computationally-intensive workloads. The TPUs will then be used to process, accelerate and scale Bayer’s quantum chemistry calculations. 

The two will use the technology to enable the in-silico modeling of biological and chemical systems to help target potential drug candidates. Since drug molecules are quantum systems, and therefore behave under the laws of quantum physics, quantum computing can aid in the prediction and simulation of the system — in this case the structure, properties, and and reactivity of these molecules in a more advanced way than traditional computing. 

Specifically, their efforts will be focused on demonstrating fully quantum mechanical modeling of protein-ligand interactions, which will help determine both the scientific and economic viability of drug candidates.