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modern and IBM The two companies announced Thursday that they are teaming up to use generative artificial intelligence and quantum computing to advance mRNA technology, the core development of the company’s blockbuster Covid vaccine.
“We are excited to partner with IBM to develop novel artificial intelligence models to advance mRNA science, prepare for the quantum computing era, and prepare our business for these changes,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement. The technical preparation of the rules of the game.”
Moderna shares edged lower on Thursday, while IBM shares were little changed.
The companies said they signed an agreement to give Moderna access to IBM’s quantum computing systems. These systems could help accelerate Moderna’s discovery and creation of new messenger RNA vaccines and therapeutics, said Dr. Dario Gil, director of research at IBM.
IBM will also provide experts who can help Moderna scientists explore applications of quantum technology, the companies added. Unlike conventional computers, which store information as zeros or ones, quantum computing depends on quantum physics. This allows these systems to solve problems that are too complex for today’s computers.
Under the agreement, Moderna scientists will also have access to MoLFormer, IBM’s generative artificial intelligence model. Generative AI describes algorithms that can be used to create new content based on the data it has been trained on.
Moderna will use IBM’s models to understand the “characteristics of potential mRNA medicines” and design a new class of vaccines and therapies, the companies said.
The deal comes as Moderna rides a post-pandemic boom fueled by its mRNA Covid vaccine.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company became a household name for its messenger RNA technology, which teaches human cells to produce a protein that kickstarts an immune response against a disease.
As the world emerges from the pandemic and demand for blockbuster Covid vaccines and treatments slows, Moderna is trying to use the technology to treat other diseases.
The company is already working on a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, as well as one that could target different types of cancer when combined with Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda.
The new deal comes as IBM ramps up its investment in AI with new partners.Earlier this year, the Armonk, New York-based company announced an agreement Partner with NASA to help build AI-based models to advance climate science.
These efforts are in line with the recent boom in AI, largely driven by the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The AI-powered chatbot answered questions in clear, concise prose and became an instant hit upon launch.
ChatGPT kicked off the AI arms race and raised questions about the full range of AI capabilities and risks.