Fujitsu and RIKEN launch joint research on drug discovery technology using Fugaku
May 17, 2022 — Fujitsu Limited and RIKEN today launched a joint research project on next-generation drug discovery computing technology using the Fugaku supercomputer(1)aimed at accelerating DX (digital transformation) in drug discovery, exploring promising new areas in this process, and significantly reducing the development period and cost of developing new drugs.
The joint research project will leverage high-performance computing technologies and the Fugaku supercomputer to accelerate the simulation of embedded AI that combines Fujitsu’s DeepTwin AI technology, which accurately acquires quantitative features from complex data through unsupervised learning. , with molecular dynamics simulation using RIKEN’s AI drug discovery simulation technology. This approach is expected to improve the accuracy and speed of molecular simulation and establish innovative technologies capable of predicting structural changes of target proteins over a wide range.
Based on this research, both parties aim to develop next-generation drug discovery computational technology with cutting-edge capabilities by the end of fiscal year 2026. Fujitsu and RIKEN expect this technology to perform analysis of the complex of target proteins and candidate molecules and predict large-scale structural changes of molecules with high speed and high accuracy to contribute to the development of medium-molecular-weight drugs and high-molecular-weight drugs, which are expected to have high efficiency and low side effects.
Recently, in the search to create vaccines and new drugs to counter the threat posed by emerging diseases such as COVID-19, researchers are increasing their efforts to develop medium molecular weight drugs and high molecular weight drugs, which offer the promise of high efficacy with few side effects. Fujitsu and RIKEN will initiate joint research to explore new areas in the drug discovery process and significantly reduce the development period and cost by enabling the prediction of unknown complex structures of target proteins and drug candidate molecules through fusion of cutting-edge molecular simulation, computing and artificial intelligence technologies from both partners for drug discovery, as well as the Fugaku supercomputer.
Joint research period
May 17, 2022 to March 31, 2025 (expected to continue after April 2025)
Roles of Fujitsu and RIKEN
- Development of a technology to obtain quantitative characteristics of protein data with the unsupervised AI technology DeepTwin
- Development of high-performance computing technology to efficiently integrate and operate molecular dynamics simulation and AI on the Fugaku supercomputer
- Development of novel drug discovery simulation technology that replicates large-scale structural changes with high accuracy and low computational cost
- The development of new technology that combines simulation and AI and experimentation to estimate various structures
By the end of fiscal year 2026, both parties will leverage jointly developed next-generation drug discovery computational technology using the Fugaku supercomputer to create a new drug discovery computational process that emphasizes medium molecular weight drugs and large molecular weight drugs and distribute it to pharmaceutical companies. and other players in the medical field. In addition, Fujitsu promotes initiatives to advance its concept of “Healthy Living” initiatives under its trademark. Fujitsu Uvance, which aims to achieve a sustainable future for humanity. 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. Fujitsu will simultaneously work to create drug discovery use cases to integrate into its Fujitsu Computing as a Service (CaaS) portfolio, a suite of cloud services that makes advanced computing and software technologies easily accessible to everyone.
Comment from Seishi Okamoto, Fujitsu Research Fellow, Senior Vice President of Research Unit, Fujitsu Limited:
As the demand for the rapid development of effective drugs grows, expectations rise for the successful introduction of computational drug discovery. Currently, however, major challenges persist in implementing computational drug discovery at scale in society, including computational time and accuracy, and limitations surrounding disease and drug targets. . RIKEN and Fujitsu will work together to transform the drug discovery process by truly integrating computing technologies such as the Fugaku supercomputer with advanced technologies in AI and machine learning.
Comment from Yasushi Okuno, Director of HPC and AI-Focused Drug Development Platform Division, RIKEN Research Center for Computational Science:
As the importance of AI and DX is highlighted in various fields, efforts are being made around the world to accelerate drug discovery research using these digital technologies in the field of drug discovery. In this joint research project, Fujitsu and RIKEN will collaborate to develop the world’s best computing technology for drug discovery using the world-class Fugaku supercomputer. We will ensure that the result of this joint research is useful to patients around the world who are waiting for new medicines.
- The Fugaku supercomputer:
A computer installed at RIKEN as a successor to the K computer. From June 2020 to November 2021, it ranked first in 4 categories of the supercomputer ranking for 4 consecutive terms. The full operation started on March 9, 2021.
Fujitsu’s goal is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. As the digital transformation partner of choice for customers in more than 100 countries, our 124,000 employees work to solve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Our range of services and solutions are based on five key technologies: computing, networks, artificial intelligence, data and security and convergent technologies, which we bring together to bring about sustainable transformation. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) posted consolidated revenue of 3.6 trillion yen ($32 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 and remains Japan’s leading digital services company by market share. Steps. Learn more: www.fujitsu.com.
RIKEN is Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution, renowned for its high-quality research in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope, encompassing today a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan.