Moderna and IBM are joining forces to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing into mRNA development, which was used to create Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are excited to partner with IBM to develop novel AI models to advance mRNA science, prepare ourselves for the era of quantum computing, and ready our business for these game-changing technologies,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
“We are aiming for breakthrough advances with quantum computing, so we are investing now in building a quantum-ready workforce, to be fully prepared to harness the power of this technology,” he added.
Moderna’s partnership with IBM — a technology company that specializes in AI and and hybrid cloud — will include investments in generative AI to improve product design. The agreement signed between the two companies is meant to “to advance and accelerate mRNA research and science,” according to the companies’ announcement.
IBM will allow Moderna to access its systems for quantum computing, which is an emerging technology that “utilizes the principles of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for classical computers,” according to the announcement.
“Moderna will be able to take advantage of our multi-year research efforts in generative AI for therapeutics that can allow scientists to better understand how molecules behave and may facilitate creating entirely new ones,” Darío Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research, said in a statement.
The announcement also said that Moderna and IBM scientists will use AI model MoLFormer to “help optimize” mRNA and lipid nanoparticles, which surround and protect mRNA within the body.