October 24, 2023/News Releases

Cleveland Clinic selected by Wellcome Leap for Two Quantum Computing Research Projects

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Cleveland Clinic has been selected by Wellcome Leap to lead a quantum computing research project, while also playing a significant role in another led by Algorithmiq — both in collaboration with IBM Quantum.

The two contracts were won through Wellcome Leap’s Quantum for Bio Challenge, which will award up to $40 million to 12 researchers globally for research focused on accelerating the development of quantum computing applications for healthcare. Wellcome Leap is a U.S.- based non-profit organization founded by the Wellcome Trust to accelerate and increase the number of breakthroughs in global health.

Cleveland Clinic and IBM teams, partnering through the Cleveland Clinic-IBM Discovery Accelerator, will collaborate closely on one project, and with Algorithmiq on a second project:

  • Protein Conformation Prediction with Quantum ComputingIn collaboration with members of the IBM Quantum team, Cleveland Clinic will work to develop quantum algorithms and workflows to explore how they could contribute to the creation of universal, scalable methods for predicting protein structures more accurately and quickly. This research could lead to new insights into how proteins function and interact with other molecules to better understand the manifestation of diseases and develop more effective, targeted therapies.
  • Quantum Computing for Photon-Drug Interactions in Cancer Prevention and Cancer Treatment – In collaboration with IBM Quantum and Cleveland Clinic, the Algorithmiq team will create a set of computational tools that aims to explore how quantum computing could assist in the development of photon-activated drugs for cancer. The project team will leverage Algorithmiq’s drug discovery platform, Aurora, which uses IBM’s quantum hardware, and Cleveland Clinic’s extensive experience in bringing relevant drug applications suitable for demonstrating quantum advantage.

Wellcome Leap’s Supported Challenge Program in Quantum for Bio is focused on identifying, developing, and demonstrating biology and healthcare applications that will benefit from the use of quantum computers expected to emerge in the next 3-5 years. Up to $40 million in research funding will be awarded to the selected teams and up to $10 million in challenge prizes will be available at the end of the program for successful proof-of-concept demonstrations on quantum devices with a clear path to scaling to large quantum computers.

Earlier this year, the first IBM quantum system dedicated to healthcare research was installed on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. Deployment of the quantum system was a key milestone in the organizations’ partnership, announced in 2021, focused on advancing the pace of biomedical research through high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Since then, researchers have been working together on a robust portfolio of projects with these advanced technologies to progress how they can be used to generate and quickly analyze large amounts of data for a wide-range of disease-focused research.

Cleveland Clinic has launched more than 30 projects with IBM in diverse areas of interest spanning drug discovery, predictive modeling, and digital health, aiming to shrink the time to develop new therapies for patients. The new Wellcome Leap projects, including a collaboration with startup, Algorithmiq, highlight the Cleveland Clinic-IBM Discovery Accelerator’s mission to create an innovation ecosystem in Ohio with outreach and impact around the world.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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