1910 Genetics has entered a five-year commercial agreement and go-to-market partnership with Microsoft, aiming to revitalise pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) productivity.

The companies will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) to set up the infrastructure layer for drug discovery and development processes.

The alliance will merge 1910’s computational and wet lab biological information, laboratory automation powered by robotics and multimodal AI models for drug discovery with Microsoft’s Azure Quantum Elements [a new system that aims to accelerate chemical and materials science] and HPC platform.

This process will aid in developing a cloud platform to speed up scientific discovery.

The collaboration will offer access to the platform through three distinct partnership models — co-discovery, co-engineering and platform-as-a-service.

These models will serve pharmaceutical, biotechnology, government, academic and research institutions globally.

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The collaboration between the companies began in 2021 when M12-Microsoft’s Venture Fund led 1910 Genetics’ Series A financing round securing $22m.

As one of the six Azure Quantum Elements launch customers, and the sole collaborator in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, 1910’s expanded collaboration with Microsoft will aid in building a foundational infrastructure for pharmaceutical and R&D teams globally.

This infrastructure aims to facilitate and hasten the shift towards AI-driven drug discovery and development, alongside future advancements in drug commercialisation, post-marketing surveillance and real-world evidence analysis.

Microsoft strategic missions and technologies executive vice-president Jason Zander stated: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with 1910 Genetics to bring their pioneering AI drug discovery engines to Azure Quantum Elements. 

“This groundbreaking technology holds immense promise for accelerating the design of small and large molecule therapeutics.

“Our collaboration with 1910 Genetics demonstrates our shared commitment to innovation and our aspiration to solve some of the most challenging problems the world faces in drug discovery.”