December 8, 2022

Polaris Quantum Biotech launches traditional-quantum drug discovery platform

UK-based startup Polaris Quantum Biotech (PQB) is coming out of stealth mode to launch a new drug discovery platform with Fujitsu. Under the partnership, the platform will use Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired Digital Annealer to search an exponentially larger molecular space (over 1 billion molecules) compared to current market techniques for new lead molecules.

The company says the platform is a combination of quantum-inspired technology, machine learning, hybrid quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics simulations (QM/MM). The short list of lead molecules identified by the Digital Annealer is then connected to Polaris’ proprietary machine-learning algorithm and quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics simulations (QM/MM) to quickly assess whether the molecules possess all the characteristics that a drug requires.

The result is a new solution that enables significantly faster and cost-effective discovery of de novo lead molecules (repeat identification) that are used for the development of new drugs. The new platform would be able to produce up to 100 drug blueprints per year, the company says, compressing the lead time for preclinical drug candidates “from five years to four months,” enabling real time adaptability to the precision medicine market.

The startup, which is currently located in Durham’s American Underground with three employees recently, raised around $250,000 in equity, according to a recent securities filing.