Category Archives: Polaris News

WRAL Techwire: Triangle startups graduate from top accelerator for underrepresented founders

WRAL Techwire has recognized the work of our CEO, Dr. Shahar Keinan, who was just announced as a member of the 2020 cohort of the Silicon Valley startup accelerator, Founder Gym. Of her participation in the program, Keinan said, "“I am much more confident in my pitch.  Now, I’m part of a community of other founders who are also underrepresented in tech, share the same difficulties, and support each other.”

Also in her cohort was the CEO of another member of the American Underground in Durham, NC, All Elements founder Mutuk Karpakakunjaram. Both of the attendees were supported through a scholarship from Google for Startups, who also partners with American Underground to help their members hone their skills when it comes to fundraising, communication, and connection with other startups facing similar challenges.

FOUNDER GYM

Led by experts in Silicon Valley, Founder Gym is an accelerator program that teaches underrepresented founders how to raise money to scale their startups.

Participants are chosen through application or nomination and over six weeks are coached on pitch crafting, fundraising and teambuilding by venture capitalists and other experts.

Since its inception in 2017, more than 440 founders from over 20 countries have graduated from Founder Gym, having been featured in Forbes, WIRED, Essence, CNBC and on NPR.

POLARISqb Cited as Innovator by The Quantum Daily’s 2020 Survey

The Quantum Daily, a website that is dedicated solely to the coverage of the news and developments in the world of quantum computing, has recently completed its Quantum Technologies Survey. The data from this survey came in the form of responses from 35 leaders in the world of quantum, and covered topics including, "key quantum computing milestones, use cases, and investment in the space."

In terms of technical milestones that will have the most impact on the world of quantum computing, over 50% of respondents thought that one of two types of vanguard technology would have the greatest impact on the field, with 31% citing superconducting, and over 20% identifying trapped ion computing. But computing power alone does not hold the promise for utilizing quantum to solve the world's toughest problems, it takes applications to transform that power into results.

In discussing how quantum will be used to create real world solutions, The Quantum Daily reports that they, "consistently voted Chemistry and Pharma applications - where problems are quantum mechanical by nature - as the most likely to benefit from early stage practical quantum computers."  In this regard, the survey found that POLARISqb was one of the companies most often cited as having an impact in this space.  Building upon our use of annealing technology  to identify potential treatment molecules for Dengue fever, we have continued to research new ways to apply our suite of software across quantum platforms, opening up new pathways for drug discovery and accelerating the process by over 75%.  By revolutionizing the way protein analysis and computational chemistry can take place in a quantum environment, we create the potential for developing cures and treatments for a wide variety of ailments on a much faster timeline.

One area where the survey detailed a fairly uncharted path was for the future of funding for the quantum sector. While there was positive trend with 40% of respondents seeing increased government investment being offered to companies within the sector, investments that will undoubtedly result in further advancement of both technological development and a wider array of quantum applications in the future, private investment was seen as lagging behind by respondents, with only 20% saying that they see funding for quantum applications coming from venture capital firms. The sector overall was seen by over 60% of respondents of having valuations that are accurate to their potential, but the same percentage reporting that they believe there is currently not enough net investment in quantum computing and applications.

Though 2020 has offered challenges in various ways, the burgeoning growth in the quantum field has only accelerated during this period. We are honored to be recognized as an innovator in the field of quantum drug discovery and the use of quantum technologies for computational chemistry, and it is our hope that through our applications and projects we are able to reach the lofty goals of our company, to cure all disease, for all people.

D-Wave Takes Giant Leap in Computing with Advantage

Everyone in computing is familiar with the idea of Moore's Law, that computing power doubles every two years, but quantum computing could be making that premise a bit of an anachronism. Recently growth in the field of quantum computing has been accelerating at a rate that makes this seem like an antiquated adage of a simpler time.

This is especially evident in the news this week that D-Wave systems have released the first quantum computer designed to be used in commercial applications, The Advantage. The Advantage features 5000 connected qubits, a number that Frederic Lardinois from TechCrunch notes is over 2.5 times as large as their previous offering of 2000 connected qubits. This larger hardware is able to interconnect 15 interconnections simultaneously versus utilizing 6 interconnections in previous iterations.

These changes create a massive explosion in the computing power offered by the Advantage computer, giving it the ability to handle up to 1 million independent variables. Using their advanced Pegasus chip to link qubits, the computer is able to natively solve problems with between 600-800 variables, providing for a wide variety of commercial applications. As D-Wave CEO Alan Baratz told Emil Protalinski of Venture Beat, "There is no other quantum computer anywhere in the world that can solve problems at the scale and complexity that this quantum computer can solve problems. It really is the only one that you can run real business applications on. The other quantum computers are primarily prototypes. You can do experimentation, run small proofs of concept, but none of them can support applications at the scale that we can.

Putting computing power like this in the hands of innovators, researchers, and companies that are seeking to solve previously unsolvable problems is tremendously empowering. POLARISqb will have the ability to utilize platforms like the Advantage to power chemical and molecular searches on a scale that was previously unfathomable in the industry, optimizing the pace of drug discovery in ways never seen in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. With the pace of innovation in the world of quantum expected to continue and accelerate, it is our goal to make molecular analysis and protein targeting faster than ever before, developing the ability to provide treatments and cures for all diseases and all people.

Innovations in BioPharma Book
The PolarisQB logo over an image of a hand holding a molecule.Quantum computing is changing the world, and carries with it potential to revolutionize many industries; from finance, to logistics, to our ability to fight infectious disease. While the promise of this technology is tremendous, currently it faces challenges of scalability and applicability that make it both difficult to implement and commercially unviable. This is where Polarisqb  stands apart in the world of quantum drug discovery, bringing market-ready methods that utilize quantum-inspired computing to accelerate the identification of potential molecular assets by up to 90%.  This technology can narrow the potential field of candidate molecules from billions to dozens in about the same amount of time that it takes to complete a traditional internet search.
In partnership with Fujitsu Global, we have used the Digital Annealer, a groundbreaking, quantum-inspired technology, to optimize single or multiple objective searches. The Digital Annealer uses heuristic approaches, rather than brute force, to efficiently search very large chemical spaces with unparalleled speed.  As a case study, Polarisqb set the objective of  identifying potential candidates to treat Dengue Fever, a mosquito borne viral disease that threatens up to 40% of the world population with potentially deadly complications. There is no cure for Dengue Fever, and the current vaccine is effective only for people previously infected, as it may increase risks of severe infections to healthy patients. Polarisqb engineers and chemists targeted the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase protein in the Dengue virus and developed a chemical library of over 1 billion molecules. Once this chemical library was constructed, we used the Digital Annealer to identify 977 potential drug candidates from the over billion molecules in the library. We filter out molecules with un-drug-like properties using AI/ML-based algorithms and accurately calculate binding affinity using QM/MM. This process of rapid combinatorial enumeration and the use of more accurate calculations to scan massive libraries has the potential to identify cures to many diseases that are currently untreatable in a fraction of the time and resources required for the traditional drug discovery process.Polarisqb is at the cutting edge of the world of drug discovery, slashing timeframes and costs of discovery processes multiple times over. As we continue to grow, the potential applications for this technology will change the world by developing treatments for previously incurable diseases and pandemics, revolutionizing drug discovery with quantum solutions never before used in the biopharmaceutical industry.