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Genentech and Nvidia Form AI Research Collaboration for Drug Discovery and Development

Genentech and Nvidia Form AI Research Collaboration for Drug Discovery and Development

November 22, 2023

Genentech announced a multi-year strategic research collaboration with Nvidia in an effort to expedite drug discovery and development. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

This partnership aims to combine Genentech’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, biological and molecular datasets, and research expertise with Nvidia's accelerated computing capabilities and AI. The collaborative initiative is intended to advance Genentech’s AI research programs by evolving its generative AI models and algorithms into a next-generation AI platform, potentially hastening the discovery and delivery of innovative therapies and medicines.

The companies say that this collaboration will quicken and optimize Genentech’s proprietary machine learning algorithms and models on Nvidia DGX Cloud, a training-as-a-service platform based on dedicated Nvidia AI supercomputing and software, including Nvidia BioNemo designed for generative AI applications in drug discovery.

Nvidia will contribute its computing expertise to Genentech’s computational scientist teams, aiming to optimize and scale Genentech’s models, potentially leading to improvements or enhancements in Nvidia's platforms during the process.

“By harnessing the power of AI models and algorithms, with our unique data and experiments, we're unlocking scientific discoveries with incredible speed and generating insights at an unprecedented scale,” Aviv Regev, EVP and head of Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED), said in a company news release. “Bringing science and technology together has always been a foundation of biomedical breakthroughs at Genentech. We are thrilled to join forces with Nvidia to further optimize our drug discovery and development to deliver treatments that transform people’s lives.”

“The greatest impact of generative AI is to revolutionize the life science and healthcare industry,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia. “Our collaboration to create Genentech’s next-generation AI platform will dramatically accelerate the pace of drug discovery and development.”

Genentech also said that the collaboration will contribute to the advancement of the company's “lab in a loop” concept. This involves feeding extensive experimental data into computational models, revealing patterns and generating new, experimentally testable predictions. Scientists rapidly evaluate these predictions in the lab, and the outcomes are incorporated back into the models to enhance the underlying computational model, enabling iterative development of improved therapies.

These activities will utilize both publicly available and Genentech-proprietary data. It is emphasized that Genentech will manage the sharing of its proprietary data, and Nvidia will not have direct access to Genentech’s proprietary data unless explicitly granted by Genentech for use in a specific project during the duration of that project.