Google Cloud Debuts AI-Powered Target and Lead Identification, Multiomics Research Suites

Looking to deepen its services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Google Cloud announced Tuesday at Bio-IT World Conference in Boston, the debut of two AI-powered research suites—one for target and lead identification and another multiomics. The Target and Lead Identification Suite will help researchers understand the function of amino acids and serve as a predictive engine for the structure of proteins, while the Multiomics Suite will help researchers analyze large and diverse sets of omics data aimed at developing precision treatments.

“We’ve long been involved with creating new tools for understanding and working with the code of life, like high performance computing for genomic analytics, and artificial intelligence that can predict three-dimensional models of proteins,” said Shweta Maniar, global director, Life Sciences Strategy and Solutions, Google Cloud in a press release. “These new solutions…can transform life sciences organizations by accelerating drug discovery and bringing therapeutics to market faster.”

According to Google, the Target and Lead Identification Suite is geared toward enabling in silico drug design by helping drug developers predict antibody structure, better understand amino acid mutagenesis and inform the de novo design of new therapeutic candidates. Target identification is provided by AlphaFold2 its predictive engine for three-dimensional protein structures and the Vertex AI, a managed artificial intelligence platform.

Early adopters of the technology include big pharma company Pfizer, and neuroscience biotech Cerevel.

“At Cerevel we aim to unravel the mysteries of the brain to solve some of the most difficult to treat neuroscience diseases, including evaluating novel therapies for schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease. The Target and Lead Identification Suite with AlphaFold gives us a valuable tool to more efficiently evaluate and improve our discovery efforts,” said Claude Barberis, vice president, Medicinal Chemistry at Cerevel. “The deeper understanding and insights we will be able to derive could ultimately get treatments for the most devastating neuroscience diseases onto the market faster, improving the day-to-day lives of millions of people.”

The Multiomics Suite is cloud agnostic and is aimed at providing a simplified environment for handling the vast troves of genomic data used today for research. Google says the suite will allow for streamlined ingestion of data, enable easier and secure sharing of data. Secondary analysis can leverage tools like GATK and Google’s DeepVariant analysis tools, and tertiary analysis allows researchers to drill into specific disease-associated genes for integration with multimodal data sets.

“Combining the science of genetics with the business of discovery, we endeavor to advance the economies of biology and healing through genetics,” said Alexander Titus, vice president of Strategy & Computational Sciences at Colossal Biosciences, known for its sequencing of extinct species, including the Woolly Mammoth. “With Google Cloud’s Multiomics Suite, Colossal was able to see 52% reduction in overall cost and an 88% reduction in time to execute whole genome sequence analysis when compared with open-source tools—demonstrating dramatic improvements in overall computational efficiency. This accelerates our ability to solve critical problems for all life on Earth.”

Also of Interest