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Corona Virus and Quantum Computing?

February 28, 2020

Is there a place for Quantum Computing in the search for a treatment for the Corona Virus?

Quantum Computing has been getting a lot of press and here at QZ we aim to track the interesting news and developments. However news of a possible widespread pandemic caused by COVID-19 is creating headlines around the globe with fear and panic seeping into the worlds economies and stock markets.

The promise of Quantum Computing has been touted for a number of years and we are seeing the exciting progress of new toolsets and cloud based platforms that enable developers to explore Quantum applications that could impact Drug Discovery. Recently D-wave announced its new platform Leap 2 aimed at Quantum Computing for real-world applications.

Could the push for smarter ways of developing drugs especially in the wake of the Corona virus push interest in companies that are developing technologies and solutions that could be useful in fighting the Corona virus? Especially companies that have an edge on the development of vaccines and drugs that could really have an impact on the near term outcome of the ensuing healthcare crisis. We will look at what is happening in the wider market of some of the public listed stocks such as IBM, Google, Microsoft that are providing much of the Quantum services that organizations are using and look at cross-over companies – that could look to unify Life-Science objectives with Quantum Computing.

With a possible major health crisis underway, we could expect energy and therefore funds being diverted away from pushes in Quantum Computing towards more near term projects that might be able to tackle the Corona Virus crisis. We’ll outline some potential synergies between the two fields, in additional to the canonical companies involved in Quantum Computing.

Public Companies involved in Quantum Computing

Quantum Zeitgeist published an article last year on Quantum Companies that are public which means that anyone can invest in them. We will list these companies here.

One important point is that these companies are not purely Quantum Computing focused. Unlike the company D-wave which does little other then Quantum Computing, these companies are buy building or exploiting Quantum Technologies. However for those looking for exposure to Quantum Computing, its easy to buy these companies with your stock broker.

IBM’s Quantum Computing Effort.

Which of these companies might be working on technologies and solutions that might have at least some, even, tangential impact on the Corona crisis? We think that out of all of these companies, Google / Alphabet and Microsoft have the most diversified portfolio, because they have a life sciences division. IBM as far as the author knows does not have such as focus – that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value – just more tangential – of course it does healthcare through its Watson service, but we think the portfolio offerings of Microsoft which includes Microsoft Research and Google (which has Verily, Editas… and a whole bunch more) are much much stronger for getting exposure to Quantum Computing and Life-science.

So if there was one stock that we think gets you exposure to Quantum Computing and Life science innovation – It would be Google. This comes with a large caveat, that as yet there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and there is no sure fire proof that using Quantum Computing might offer significant benefits in the near term. But for diversified portfolio it is hard to beat. But can we do better than two out of three (Life science + Corona + Quantum Computing)?

Private Quantum Computing Companies

Perhaps the most famous of these private companies is D-wave which now has public access cloud based platform and offers FREE quantum Computing hours. One issue with D-wave, a pure play Quantum Computing Company is that it is not listed on any public market place. That means investing in such a company is very difficult and beyond the scope of most investors. It means investing in the fund that have provided capital to D-wave. Right now there is no way to buy stock in a pure-play Quantum Computing Company such as D-wave unless you are a fund.

Quantum Market Trackers

There is a Quantum Tracker by the name of QTUM which is an ETF which is a method by which investors can gain exposure to the Quantum Computing market and a number of companies without having to buy stocks individually. D-wave has been showing some immediate uses for new 2000 qubit systems – which have been used to solve routing and materials problems with companies such as Volkswagen, but sadly D-wave is not included in the QTUM portfolio which includes companies such as Fujitsu, Nvidia and Microsoft but none of the smaller privately listed companies such as StrangeWorks, D-wave, Cambridge Quantum Computing, who are funded by Venture Groups. Should you want to see some of the venture companies involved in investment in the Quantum space, please see Venture Companies involves in the Quantum Space that we have compiled.

The need for more Health Tech and quantum Innovation

Right now governments, pharma, universities and vaccine companies around the globe are looking at how they can impact the growing fear of a Cornona Virus pandemic. Just looking at the highest moving stocks right now – ones that are going up against one of the worst days in History on the US stock markets, we can see the likes of Vir Biotechnology, Inc and Teladoc Health, Inc. (telemedicine).

But there are others which are reported to be woking on products to help with Corona, such as Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Moderna and Regeneron which are doing well financially as people dump other stock listings.

Pharma + Corona + Quantum

One company that we do know has an active program in the pharma space and is working on developing a Corona drug which may have its origins in its past HIV work. What’s more AbbVie has teamed up with QuPharm alliance which is dedicated to getting Drug Discovering and Quantum Computing on the same page. So if you are looking for a way to combine Quantum Drug Discovery with the Corona, we found that link! And should you wish you can even invest in it!