USA — Roche’s Genentech unit has teamed up with Nvidia to revolutionize the discovery and development of therapeutics through the utilization of generative artificial intelligence (AI).
Aviv Regev, Head of Research and Early Development at Genentech, expresses the potential of this partnership, stating, “By harnessing the power of AI models and algorithms, with our unique data and experiments, we’re unlocking scientific discoveries with incredible speed and generating insights at an unprecedented scale.”
The initial focus of this collaboration is to optimize Genentech’s drug discovery AI models within its “lab in a loop” framework.
This innovative approach aims to unravel complex biomolecular patterns, enhancing the success rates of research and development (R&D).
The “lab in a loop” methodology involves iteratively feeding extensive experimental data into computational models, unveiling patterns, and making new testable predictions.
The rapid assessment of these predictions in the lab, followed by inputting results back into the models, creates an iterative loop that refines the computational model.
Genentech and Nvidia anticipate that this synergy will provide “multiplicative, rather than linear or additive, benefits” for patients and the broader healthcare ecosystem.
To accelerate these models, the collaboration plans to utilize Nvidia’s AI supercomputer in the cloud, known as DGX Cloud.
Additionally, Genentech aims to integrate Nvidia’s BioNeMo, a generative AI cloud service for drug discovery, directly into computational drug discovery workflows.
BioNeMo, introduced earlier this year, facilitates model customization at scale, allowing researchers to pre-train or fine-tune them on DGX Cloud.
The partnership involves leveraging both publicly available data and Genentech’s proprietary data, with Genentech maintaining control over its proprietary information. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
Notably, this collaboration builds on Nvidia’s recent investments in AI-led drug discovery efforts, including a US$50 million investment in Recursion.
Genentech’s commitment to AI is evident in its strategic hiring and partnerships, showcasing a dedication to accelerating drug development processes.
The pharmaceutical industry, including Genentech, has long explored AI as a tool to streamline drug discovery timelines, a process that traditionally takes a decade or more.
While AI-designed drugs have yet to fully deliver on initial promises, collaborations like Genentech and Nvidia’s signify an ongoing commitment to harnessing AI’s potential in reshaping the future of drug discovery.
Genentech’s proactive approach to incorporating AI, coupled with Nvidia’s advanced computing capabilities, positions this collaboration as a significant stride toward advancing the efficiency and success of drug discovery in the healthcare landscape.