Quantum Computing

Moderna and IBM Explore Quantum Computing and Generative AI for mRNA Science


Insider Summary

  • Moderna is investing in developing quantum computing skills and exploring the use of quantum computing in developing future mRNA drugs.
  • Moderna is a pioneering biotechnology company developing messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines.
  • Moderna will participate in the IBM Quantum Accelerator and IBM Quantum Network programs.
  • Image: IBM

PRESS RELEASE — Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company that pioneered messenger RNA (mRNA) therapies and vaccines, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced an agreement under which Moderna will explore next-generation technologies including quantum computing and artificial intelligence to advance and accelerate mRNA research and science.

“Since our inception, we have always strived to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, leveraging innovation to have the greatest possible impact on society through mRNA pharmaceuticals,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “We are excited to partner with IBM to develop new AI models to advance mRNA science, prepare for the quantum computing era, and prepare our business for this game-changing technology. We aim to breakthrough progress with quantum computing, so we are investing now in building a quantum-ready workforce, to fully harness the power of this technology.”

“IBM’s goal is to be a catalyst for making the world work better, exemplified perfectly by this partnership with Moderna. We are witnessing a revolution in the world of computing, driven by tremendous advances in AI and quantum computing,” said Dr. Darío Gil, Senior Vice President, and Director of Research at IBM. “Moderna will be able to leverage our years of research efforts in generative AI for therapeutics that will allow scientists to better understand how molecules behave and can facilitate the creation of entirely new ones. We are also pleased to work with Moderna to help prepare their scientists in the knowledge and use of IBM’s industry-leading quantum computing technology with the goal of accelerating the discovery and creation of new therapeutics.”

Development of quantum computing skills for mRNA drug design

Quantum computing is a rapidly evolving transformative technology that utilizes the principles of quantum mechanics to solve problems that are too complex for classical computers. Modern scientists will learn how quantum technology can be applied to problems previously difficult to solve for classical computers. Together, the companies will explore the potential of applying the quantum approach to Moderna’s scientific challenges.

Moderna will participate in the IBM Quantum Accelerator and IBM Quantum Network programs. Under the agreement, IBM will provide access to quantum computing systems, as well as expertise to assist Moderna in exploring advanced life science use cases powered by quantum technology.

AI model for mRNA drug design

Moderna and IBM scientists will implement MoLFormer, an AI basic models

which can help scientists predict molecular properties, and can help them understand the characteristics of potential mRNA drugs. Moderna’s goal is to use MoLFormer to help optimize lipid nanoparticles, which encapsulate and protect mRNAs as they move through the body, and mRNAs, which act as instructions to cells to fight disease. Under this initiative, Moderna and IBM will combine state-of-the-art formulation discovery with generative AI to design mRNA drugs with optimal safety and performance.


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