Boehringer hooks up with Google for quantum leap

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One of the key trends that has come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is the rapid shift to digital health technologies. Today Boehringer Ingelheim made another foray into this world with a three-year tie-up with Google Quantum AI. The collaboration will see Google use its quantum computing abilities to assist BI to simulate and analyse molecules related to disease. Quantum says its computers can allow for uncertainty, making them ideal for studying large complex interactions and systems like human biology. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is no stranger to healthcare, and while most of its deals have played to its strengths of data analytics and AI it is cropping up more and more at the patient level. Google recently reported success in identifying tumours in mammograms, and collaborations include the Galvani Bioelectronics venture with Glaxosmithkline. However, not all of its healthcare forays have borne fruit. In 2019 Sanofi called time on their $500m diabetes management programme, Onduo. But with rising R&D costs not matched with increased productivity BI might not be the only pharma company wanting to access the power of Google’s quantum computing to give it an edge in drug discovery and development.

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