The new partnership between Nanome and Fujitsu will enable the US startup to provide real-time scientific collaboration tools to companies at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19
➨ A newly struck partnership with Japan-headquartered multinational Fujitsu will see Nanome’s platform licensed to pharmaceutical companies in the jurisdiction
➨ The startup hopes to expand the partnership to chemical engineering and materials science
➨ In June, Nanome became the first US-based company to join the EU’s supercomputer-powered effort against SARS-CoV-2
US virtual reality startup Nanome, whose immersive scientific design and collaboration platform enables scientists to visualise microscopic biological and chemical compounds, is entering the Japanese market.
A newly struck partnership with Japan-headquartered multinational Fujitsu will see Nanome’s platform licensed to pharmaceutical companies in the jurisdiction. The startup hopes to expand the partnership to chemical engineering and materials science.
Nanome’s platform allows users to visualise, modify, and simulate biological and chemical compounds. It’s already being used by more than 15 of the top US-based biopharmaceutical companies.
The platform has proven important since the outbreak of Covid-19, with researchers globally using it to virtually evaluate the ability of antibody and small molecule drug candidates to bind the viral proteins.
In June, Nanome became the first US-based company to join the EU’s supercomputer-powered effort against SARS-CoV-2—the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19—by providing virtual reality headsets and software access to selected members of the Exscalate4Cov consortium.
At the centre of the project is Exscalate, a powerful supercomputer for drug discovery working across a ‘chemical library’ of 500 billion molecules with a processing capacity of more than three million molecules per second.
As of June, that consortium had virtually tested 400,000 molecules using Exscalate. Seven thousand were preselected and subjected to further testing.
Speaking at the time, Silvano Coletti, the project’s innovation manager and managing director of Chelonia Applied Science, a member of the consortium, explained that Exscalate “is the only platform capable of exascale-ready virtual screening of billions of molecules on multiple targets in a few hours”.
Coletti said: “Coupling this capability with Nanome software capabilities will enable us to rapidly identify drugs for immediate use as treatments and novel pan-coronavirus inhibitors that could address future emergencies.”
Nanome’s partnership with Fujitsu will, in a similar fashion, enable the startup “to provide real-time scientific collaboration tools to companies at the forefront of the fight against SARS-CoV-2”, said Steve McCloskey, chief executive officer of Nanome.
“By making it easy and intuitive for researchers to evaluate candidate molecules, we hope to help decrease the time it takes to get an effective drug to market and enable scientists to stay one step ahead.”
Akihiko Harada of Fujitsu said the multinational was keen to partner with Nanome and bring its platform to Japan because “the number of corporations in Japan using VR software is projected to more than double by 2025”.
Harada said: “This partnership is right in line with our efforts to drive new value from cutting-edge digital technologies that not only transform the way we work and live, but contribute to solving global social challenges.”
Main image: The Nanome platform