IBM and Moderna collaborate to deliver next-gen technologies

science image | IBM and Moderna

IBM has entered into an agreement with biotech giant Moderna as the latter continues it work in pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines.

Under the agreement with Big Blue, Moderna will explore next generation technologies such as quantum computing and AI to advance and accelerate mRNA research and science. The pharma giant will also participate in the IBM Quantum Accelerator program and the IBM Quantum Network.

IBM will provide access for Moderna to quantum computing systems, as well as expertise to assist the company in exploring cutting-edge life sciences use-cases powered by quantum technologies.

Moderna and IBM scientists will also apply MoLFormer, an AI foundation model, that can help scientists predict a molecule’s properties and could help them understand the characteristics of potential mRNA medicines. Moderna aims to use MoLFormer to help optimize liquid nanoparticles, which encapsulates and protect mRNA as it travels within the body, and mRNA, which acts as instructions to cells in order to fight disease.

Under this agreement, both companies will combine state-of-the-art formulation discovery with generative AI to design mRNA medicines with optimal safety and performance.

Dr. Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM research, said: “IBM’s purpose is to be the catalyst to make the world work better, perfectly exemplified by this partnership with Moderna. We are witnessing a revolution in the world of computing, driven by extraordinary advances in AI and quantum computing.

“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. We are also excited to work with Moderna to help prepare their scientists in the knowledge and use of IBM’s industry-leading quantum computing technologies with the goal of accelerating the discovery and creation of new therapeutics.”

Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said: “Since our inception, we have always strived to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, leveraging innovations to deliver the greatest possible impact to people through mRNA medicines.

“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. 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.”