Digital molecule designer Schrödinger taps Google Cloud for parallel computing

Google Cloud has unveiled a new series of partner updates (Image JasonDoiy / iStockPhoto)
An agreement with Google Cloud comes on the heels of Schrödinger’s Nasdaq IPO last month, which raised about $232 million, to help boost its own early pipeline of internally developed drugs. (JasonDoiy/iStockPhoto)

Schrödinger aims to upload its digital drug discovery efforts to Google’s cloud network with plans to employ thousands of processors to simulate billions of potential compounds per week.

The three-year collaboration with Google Cloud is designed to substantially increase the speed and capacity of its physics-based molecule modeling platform, the company said, with supercomputer-level power being distributed among nationwide centers.

“We’re excited to harness Google Cloud’s highly scalable system to run extensive free energy calculations to assess binding affinities through our compute-intensive FEP+ application,” said Schrödinger’s chief information officer, Shane Brauner, describing the company’s program for virtually screening the strength of potential ligands. 

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“This partnership is expected to allow us to expand the use of our physics-based computational platform to continue to rapidly explore very large swaths of chemical space,” Brauner said in a statement.

The agreement comes on the heels of Schrödinger’s Nasdaq IPO last month—which went on to raise about $232 million—to help boost its own early pipeline of internally developed drugs. Plus the $110 million the company raised in venture funding last year, the proceeds will support at least five wholly owned programs launched since mid-2018. 

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Those efforts are focused on discovering and developing small-molecule inhibitors for targets in DNA damage response pathways and related cancers, the company said in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It plans to launch IND-enabling, preclinical studies by the first half of 2021.  

But Schrödinger is also continuing to provide its drug discovery services to Big Pharma companies. Earlier this year, it inked a five-year deal with Bayer to digitally screen therapeutic candidates, following similar pacts with Sanofi and AstraZeneca.