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PhoreMost enters collaboration with POLARISqb to bring power of quantum computing to search for new cancer therapies

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PhoreMost has struck an oncology collaboration with North Carolina-based quantum computing drug design company POLARISqb in a potent match-up that it described as a “transformative milestone for the pharmaceutical industry”.

They will study targets currently considered undruggable to find novel molecular drugs to treat cancer.

Dr Chris Torrance, CEO of PhoreMost
Dr Chris Torrance, CEO of PhoreMost

The POLARISqb Tachyon quantum computing platform will be used to scan billions of molecules from a large chemical space, based on the information obtained from PhoreMost’s SITESEEKER phenotypic screening platform.

SITESEEKER finds ‘cryptic’ druggable sites across the entire genome using proprietary protein interference, or PROTEINi, libraries which exploit the shape diversity inherent in proteins to help find novel drug targets.

POLARISqb, meanwhile, has built the first drug discovery platform using a quantum computer, Tachyon.

It is hoped this will dramatically shorten the drug discovery process by performing combinatorial optimisations in minutes that would take classical supercomputers months or even years to complete.

Dr Chris Torrance, CEO of PhoreMost, which is based at The Works in Pampisford, said: “This partnership represents the ultimate ambition for any collaboration between biology and technology, where the full diversity of newly identified druggable disease targets generated by biological PROTEINi shape-libraries can now be married to the most logical and rapid method of finding small-molecule drugs to them.

“This best-in-class intersection of biotech and AI is going to be an exciting and transformative milestone for the entire pharmaceutical industry.”

Dr Shahar Keinan, POLARISqb CEO, added: “This collaboration is a significant milestone for POLARISqb. Quantum computing technology is coming of age, allowing us to revolutionise drug discovery timelines and budgets, while improving the overall profile of the designed drugs.

“The experience and speed of PhoreMost’s technology is a great match to POLARISqb and we are excited to work together."

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