Schrödinger is leading the computational design work in an alliance of major biopharma companies collaborating on the COVID-19 initiative, including Takeda, Novartis, Gilead Sciences, and WuXi AppTec. Schrödinger's computational platform models the properties of molecules at the atomic level and identifies those most likely to succeed as therapeutics. To date, Schrödinger has evaluated four different protein targets for the COVID-19 initiative and utilized Google Cloud to support ultra-large virtual screens for two of the targets. The alliance partners will be responsible for acquiring and assaying the most promising compounds and advancing them to lead optimization with Schrödinger's assistance.
Earlier this year, Schrödinger entered into a strategic agreement with Google Cloud that gave Schrödinger access to computing capacity equivalent to the world's most powerful supercomputers to accelerate discovery for its commercial partners and its internal pipeline. The new grant from Google Cloud allows Schrödinger to deploy the same high-speed, parallel computing capability on the COVID-19 project, enabling rapid assessments of critical properties of billions of molecules per week through free-energy calculations and other physics-based applications.
The Google Cloud grant to the COVID-19 initiative amounts to 16 million hours of NVIDIA GPU time, which if used consecutively, would equate to 1826 years of around-the-clock computing. GPU hours can be run in parallel on multiple NVIDIA processors, enabling the exploration of vast swaths of chemical space in a compressed time frame to speed the discovery portion of the R&D work.
"Google Cloud has been a great technology partner to us as we push the limits of computational modelling in our partnered and internal drug discovery programmes to identify high-quality molecules more rapidly and at lower cost than traditional methods", stated Pat Lorton, Schrödinger's Chief Technology Officer. "We're delighted to be able to extend that bold approach to chemical exploration to the COVID-19 project, which is so important to global public health. Discovering high-quality novel molecules in silico requires extensive computing power, and Google Clouds GPU credits are crucial to that work."
"We're delighted to be teaming up again with Schrödinger and joining the rest of the COVID-19 alliance on this important project", stated Joe Corkery, Google Cloud's Director of Product Management, Healthcare. "Like all the partners in this alliance, we understand the enormous public health challenge presented by COVID-19, and were proud to be contributing our compute power to accelerate the identification of new potential therapeutics in the fight against the virus."