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Wellcome Leap Selects Cleveland Clinic For Two Quantum Computing Research Projects

Cleveland Clinic

Insider Brief

  • Cleveland Clinic has been selected by Wellcome Leap to lead a quantum computing research project.
  • The clinic will also playing a significant role in another led by Algorithmiq and IBM Quantum is collaborating on both projects.
  • Projects include using quantum computers for protein conformation prediction and for photon-drug interactions in cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Image: HealthMonitor-Wikipedia

PRESS RELEASE — Cleveland Clinic has been selected by Wellcome Leap to lead a quantum computing research project, while also playing a significant role in another led by Algorithmiq — both in collaboration with IBM Quantum.  

The two contracts were won through Wellcome Leap’s Quantum for Bio Challenge, which will award up to $40 million to 12 researchers globally for research focused on accelerating the development of quantum computing applications for healthcare. Wellcome Leap is a U.S.- based non-profit organization founded by the Wellcome Trust to accelerate and increase the number of breakthroughs in global health. 

Cleveland Clinic and IBM teams, partnering through the Cleveland Clinic-IBM Discovery Accelerator, will collaborate closely on one project, and with Algorithmiq on a second project: 

  • Protein Conformation Prediction with Quantum ComputingIn collaboration with members of the IBM Quantum team, Cleveland Clinic will work to develop quantum algorithms and workflows to explore how they could contribute to the creation of universal, scalable methods for predicting protein structures more accurately and quickly. This research could lead to new insights into how proteins function and interact with other molecules to better understand the manifestation of diseases and develop more effective, targeted therapies. 
  • Quantum Computing for Photon-Drug Interactions in Cancer Prevention and Cancer Treatment – In collaboration with IBM Quantum and Cleveland Clinic, the Algorithmiq team will create a set of computational tools that aims to explore how quantum computing could assist in the development of photon-activated drugs for cancer. The project team will leverage Algorithmiq’s drug discovery platform, Aurora, which uses IBM’s quantum hardware, and Cleveland Clinic’s extensive experience in bringing relevant drug applications suitable for demonstrating quantum advantage.  

Wellcome Leap’s Supported Challenge Program in Quantum for Bio is focused on identifying, developing, and demonstrating biology and healthcare applications that will benefit from the use of quantum computers expected to emerge in the next 3-5 years. Up to $40 million in research funding will be awarded to the selected teams and up to $10 million in challenge prizes will be available at the end of the program for successful proof-of-concept demonstrations on quantum devices with a clear path to scaling to large quantum computers.  

Earlier this year, the first IBM quantum system dedicated to healthcare research was installed on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Deployment of the quantum system was a key milestone in the organizations’ partnership, announced in 2021, focused on advancing the pace of biomedical research through high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Since then, researchers have been working together on a robust portfolio of projects with these advanced technologies to progress how they can be used to generate and quickly analyze large amounts of data for a wide-range of disease-focused research.   

Cleveland Clinic has launched more than 30 projects with IBM in diverse areas of interest spanning drug discovery, predictive modeling, and digital health, aiming to shrink the time to develop new therapies for patients. The new Wellcome Leap projects, including a collaboration with startup, Algorithmiq, highlight the Cleveland Clinic-IBM Discovery Accelerator’s mission to create an innovation ecosystem in Ohio with outreach and impact around the world. 

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