Menten AI, the US based drug design company presented at the latest D-wave sponsored event Qubits2020. They explain how they use Quantum Computing to design therapeutic peptides. The company outline how difficult it is to explore the existing space of proteins that even nature hasn’t had a chance to explore.
To make better therapeutics one can use directed evolution, evolving the peptide to get them performing the function that they want. Wet laboratories are costly and time consuming, even with high throughput screening and with a very very low success rate.
They have been combining Quantum optimized designed with Machine Leaning guided solutions, for example employing deep learning for filtering. Quantum approaches allow a way of tackling the use combinatorics issues that arise when looking for peptides that bind into pockets.
One potential application is developing antivirals, for example to reduce the implicit SARS-Cov-2 glyco-protein.
Their latest work on using a Quantum Computer to design peptides can be found here in an article named: “Designing Peptides on a Quantum Computer“.