TOKYO, May 17, 2022 — (JCN Newswire) — Fujitsu Limited and RIKEN today launched a joint research project on next-generation IT technology for drug discovery using the supercomputer Fugaku(1) that aims to implement DX (digital transformation) in to accelerate drug discovery. Explore promising new areas in this process and drastically reduce the development time and cost of developing new drugs.
The joint research project will use high-performance computing technologies and the supercomputer Fugaku to accelerate simulation-integrated AI that combines Fujitsu’s DeepTwin AI technology, which accurately captures quantitative features from complex data through unsupervised learning, with molecular dynamics simulation under Combined using RIKEN’s AI drug discovery simulation technology. It is expected that this approach will allow to improve the accuracy and speed of molecular simulation and to establish innovative technologies that can predict changes in the structure of target proteins over a wide range.
Based on this research, the two parties intend to develop next-generation drug discovery IT technology with world-leading capabilities by the end of fiscal year 2026. Fujitsu and RIKEN anticipate that this technology will analyze target proteins and drug candidate molecule complexes, predict large-scale structural changes of molecules at high speed and with high accuracy, to contribute to the development of medium- and large-molecule drugs, which are expected to have high potency and low side effects .
Recently, in the quest for vaccines and new drugs to combat the threat of emerging diseases like COVID-19, researchers are stepping up efforts to develop intermediate-molecular-weight drugs and large-molecular-weight drugs that promise relatively high potency and few side effects. Fujitsu and RIKEN will initiate joint research to explore new areas in the drug discovery process and drastically reduce development time and costs by enabling the prediction of unknown complex structures of target proteins and drug candidate molecules through the fusion of state-of-the-art molecular simulation. Computing and AI technologies of both partners for drug research as well as the supercomputer Fugaku.
time of joint research
May 17, 2022 to March 31, 2025 (expected to continue after April 2025)
Fujitsu and RIKEN reels
– Development of a technology to extract quantitative features from protein data using the unsupervised AI technology DeepTwin
– Development of high-performance computing technology to integrate and efficiently operate molecular dynamics simulation and AI on the supercomputer Fugaku
– Development of a new simulation technology for drug discovery that reproduces large-scale structural changes with high accuracy and low computational effort
– The development of the new technology that combines simulation and AI and experiments to estimate various structures
By the end of FY2026, the two parties will leverage the jointly developed next-generation drug discovery IT technology, which utilizes the Fugaku supercomputer, to create a new drug discovery IT process focused on medium- and large-molecule drugs, and deliver it to pharmaceutical companies pass on and other actors in the medical field. In addition, Fujitsu promotes initiatives to further develop its concept of “Healthy Living” initiatives under its corporate brand Fujitsu Uvance, which aims to realize a sustainable future for humankind. Through this joint research, Fujitsu aims to contribute to solving challenges in the medical field by developing technologies that combine its strengths in AI and HPC. At the same time, Fujitsu will work to create drug discovery use cases to integrate with its Fujitsu Computing as a Service (CaaS) portfolio, a suite of cloud services that makes advanced computing and software technologies easily available to everyone.
Comment by Seishi Okamoto, Fujitsu Research Fellow, Senior Vice President of Research Unit, Fujitsu Limited:
As the demand for the rapid development of effective drugs increases, expectations for the successful adoption of IT drug discovery grow. At present, however, there are major challenges in the comprehensive implementation of IT drug research in society, including the time and accuracy of calculations and limitations related to target diseases and drugs. RIKEN and Fujitsu will work together to transform the drug discovery process by truly integrating computing technologies like the supercomputer Fugaku with cutting-edge AI and machine learning technologies.
Commentary by Yasushi Okuno, Director of the HPC and AI-driven Department for Drug Development Platforms, RIKEN Research Center for Computational Science:
While the importance of AI and DX is being emphasized in various fields, efforts are being made worldwide to accelerate drug discovery using these digital technologies in the field of drug discovery. In this joint research project, Fujitsu and RIKEN will work together to develop the world’s best computational technology for drug discovery using the world-class supercomputer Fugaku. We will work to ensure that the outcome of this collaborative research is useful to patients around the world awaiting new medicines.
(1) The supercomputer Fugaku:
A computer installed at RIKEN as a successor to the K computer. From June 2020 to November 2021, it ranked first in the supercomputer rankings for 4 consecutive periods in 4 categories. Full operation began on March 9, 2021.
Fujitsu’s goal is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. As the preferred digital transformation partner for clients in over 100 countries, our 124,000 employees work to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges. Our range of services and solutions are built around five key technologies: compute, networks, AI, data and security, and convergent technologies that we bring together to enable sustainable transformation. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated sales of 3.6 trillion yen (US$32 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2022 and remains the leading digital services company in Japan in terms of market share. More information: www.fujitsu.com.
RIKEN is Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution, known for high-quality research in a variety of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope, and today includes a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan. https://www.riken.jp/en/about/
Source: Fujitsu Ltd
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