Media Release by Google Cloud
Bayer AG and Google Cloud today announced a collaboration to drive early drug discovery that will apply Google Cloud’s Tensorflow Processing Units (TPUs), which are custom-developed accelerators designed to run cutting-edge machine learning models and computationally-intensive workloads, to help accelerate and scale Bayer’s quantum chemistry calculations.
The theory of quantum mechanics applied to computer-aided drug discovery enables the in-silico modeling of biological and chemical systems with high accuracy, and therefore has the potential to help identify novel drug candidates. The objectives of the collaboration are to accelerate and scale quantum chemistry calculations using Google Cloud’s TPUs and to demonstrate fully quantum mechanical modeling of protein-ligand interactions. The results will determine the scientific and economic viability of large-scale density functional theory calculations for practical applications.
“Bayer’s aspiration to be among the leading innovators drives us to continue to invest in novel and disruptive technologies to solve complex problems,” said Bijoy Sagar, chief information and digital transformation officer at Bayer AG. “Partnering with Google Cloud on TPU powered quantum chemistry complements our ambition to work with industry leaders and experts to quickly deliver on digital transformation.”
“Accelerating drug discovery may be one of the most important applications for AI and high-performance computing in the healthcare industry,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Bringing Bayer’s powerful research and development capabilities together with our industry-leading infrastructure has the potential to unlock new discoveries—with greater accuracy and speed—helping to get new medicines to patients faster.”
Increasing R&D efficiency to accelerate development of impactful medicines for patients in need is central to Bayer’s innovation strategy.
“By combining Google Cloud’s computing power with Bayer’s leading expertise in drug discovery we intend to unleash the potential of large-scale quantum chemistry,” said Marianne De Backer, Head of Strategy, Business Development & Licensing/Open Innovation and Member of the Executive Committee, Pharmaceuticals Division at Bayer AG. “Working with industry leaders and pioneers to leverage scientific advancements fueled by digital innovations is essential to the present and future of patient care.”