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24 February, 2021 - 14:34 By Tony Quested

Quantum computing enters cancer arena with Cambridge-California pact

An historic Cambridge-California alliance will see quantum computing deployed to discover new cancer drugs – possibly for the first time.

Cambridge Quantum Computing has joined forces with Crown Bioscience Inc and its parent JSR Life Sciences in researching novel multi-gene oncology biomarkers.

The partnership marks one of the first – if not THE first – applications of quantum computing to solve problems in cancer research.

The alliance is likely to be extended to cover other areas of life science research.

Together, the partners will identify a strategy to implement an early quantum computing application that will address and explore solutions to broad challenges in life sciences.

The initial research will look to derive insights from the analysis of genetic data to identify cancer treatment biomarkers and help researchers accelerate pre-clinical research and develop better drug candidates.

The collaboration will combine CrownBio’s domain expertise and vast data sets generated from 15 years of preclinical and translational research and CQC’s advanced capabilities in quantum algorithms, quantum machine learning and quantum computing.

Utilising quantum machine algorithms and CQC’s software development framework for execution on NISQ (Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) computers, the initial approach will focus on deriving insight from the analysis of genetic data to identify cancer treatment biomarkers and drive the next generation of bioinformatics.  

Armin Spura, CEO of CrownBio said: “The agreement continues CrownBio’s commitment to innovation and the application of technology to accelerate and de-risk drug development, leading to stronger drug candidates and a more rapid transition from preclinical phases to the clinic.”

llyas Khan, CEO of CQC added: “CQC was founded to develop technologies that could help address some of the most pressing societal challenges, particularly in areas such as human biology.

“We are therefore excited to enter into our latest partnership with CrownBio to determine how cutting-edge quantum machine learning methods can be applied to critical use cases.”

Founded in 2014 and backed by some of the world’s leading quantum computing companies, CQC is a global leader in quantum software and quantum algorithms, enabling clients to achieve the most out of rapidly evolving quantum computing hardware. 

CQC has offices in the UK, US and Japan with a team of over 130 professionals. 

Crown Bioscience, a JSR Life Sciences company, is a global drug discovery and development service specialist providing translational platforms to advance oncology, inflammation, and metabolic disease research. 

JSR Life Sciences is committed to the advancement of human health worldwide as a strategic partner to companies that discover, develop, and deliver products to treat disease and improve the quality of life for patients. 

It operates a network of manufacturing facilities, R & D labs and sales offices. The JSR Life Sciences family of companies includes Crown Bioscience, KBI Biopharma, Inc., Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., LTD., Selexis SA and other affiliates throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. 

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