Category Archives: Polaris News

Quantum Cloud Growth and the Future of Computing

Just a few years ago, truly viable and useful quantum computing was the stuff of legends and campfire tales among computer scientists, but development in the last year has led to an explosion of quantum resources available to companies in the cloud. The evolution of the quantum machine has been accelerated by the development of different types of qubits including trapped ion, spin qubits, and superconducting qubits as well as the integration of multiple qubits into faster and more reliable computing systems. The access to such high powered quantum annealing systems is changing the cloud computing landscape for companies like POLARISqb, and that access allows our Tachyon system to perform drug discovery and optimization for protein targets at speeds that can far exceed even the best conventional supercomputers. D-Waves 128 Chip from its Quantum Annealer

The biggest player in the quantum cloud computing industry is Amazon Web Services, who are able to offer access to quantum computers from Rigetti, D-Wave, and IonQ through its multi-layered quantum service, Braket. Braket gives programmers the ability to develop software that is built to run on a quantum platform and test it on multiple different quantum computing architectures. Whether you are utilizing annealing, as our systems do, or want to access a gate structure or trapped ion computer, users have the ability to move relatively seamlessly between systems. In a field that exists at the vanguard of scientific research, this flexibility is an invaluable tool in the pocket of developers.

How do these multiple offerings benefit Amazon Web Services? First, they can attract more users. Also,  they are able to use the information on the operations of various quantum systems to better understand the functionalities they provide and the strengths and weaknesses of each system. As they provide users the ability to run multiple iterations of their algorithms at a fairly reasonable price point (both per shot and per task), Amazon Web Services  are building institutional knowledge about the ways in which quantum computing solutions can be implemented across industries and in various scientific fields. Amazon looks at providing this service as a kind of starting point or launch pad for quantum computing to be explored by companies like ours, and we are using this launch pad to take off to new heights of in silico drug research and development. 

The ability to easily access quantum computing architecture through the cloud is game changing for companies like POLARISqb. The ability to build and test our code on multiple platforms gave us the opportunity to revolutionize the way that drug discovery research is done in a computational environment. As our team of chemists and programmers continues to develop our software and the ability to better understand the relationships of various small molecules with particular protein binding pockets to create new potential drugs to solve myriad diseases that have eluded researchers so far.

POLARISqb, Developers of First Quantum Drug Discovery Platform, Announces Seed Investment of $2.1 Million

POLARISqb, the Durham based developer of the world’s first drug discovery software built for quantum computers, announces that it has received the first round of their seed raise, totalling over two million dollars. This funding will allow Polaris to grow their team, scale the platform and develop assets faster. 

POLARISqb’ seed round is led by OurCrowd, and joined by Infinity Medical.OurCrowd is a global venture investing platform empowering institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. With $1.8 billion of committed funding, and investments in more than 280 portfolio companies and 28 venture funds. Infinity Medical focused on advanced digital health technologies, with portfolio companies on the cutting edge of health innovation, in transition from development to global sales. 


“OurCrowd has allowed us to reach investors in a modern and engaging manner, building relationships that will provide opportunities for continued growth and connection with stakeholders from around the globe.” said POLARISqb CEO Shahar Keinan. 


David Sokolic, Investment Partner at OurCrowd, explains “OurCrowd has developed a cogent investment thesis around quantum computing and has made several previous related investments in enabling hardware and software development tools. We are pleased to now add POLARISqb to our growing portfolio in this rapidly emerging field. POLARISqb’s unique approach of applying the power of quantum computing to the discovery of novel drug candidates at a fraction of the time and cost of conventional methods represents one of the first commercial examples of quantum-powered application software delivering tangible benefits surpassing what was previously achievable.”

Auransa and POLARISqb Enter Research Collaboration to find Treatments for Neglected Women’s Diseases

PALO ALTO, Calif. and DURHAM, N.C.June 04, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Auransa, Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) company developing precision medicines in areas of unmet medical needs, and Polaris Quantum Biotech (POLARISqb), a quantum drug design company, announced a research collaboration addressing therapeutics for neglected diseases disproportionately affecting women.  The logo for AI healthcare company Auransa

The partnership seeks to discover treatments that may tackle many such diseases, and their complementary expertise promises to seek solutions that elude medical research.  Auransa is an AI-driven biotech company, with a pipeline of novel compounds for various diseases. Auransa's proprietary predictive computational platform, SMarTR™ Engine, uses computational approaches to tackle disease heterogeneity to predict targets and compounds, generating insights from molecular data. POLARISqb built the first drug discovery platform using quantum computing, making the process ten times faster. POLARISqb's TachyonTM platform scans billions of molecules from a massive chemical space, finding novel molecular drugs.

"We are excited about collaborating with Polaris to undertake a neglected area in the pharmaceutical industry. As women CEOs, we've joined forces to tackle female diseases like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Together, I believe that we will be able to combine our expertise in biology and chemistry to generate quality solutions for hard to tackle or neglected diseases affecting women's health." stated Pek Lum, Ph.D., CEO of Auransa.

"Quantum Computing technology is coming of age, allowing us to shorten the time to discover new drugs and scale up to multiple targets. We are thrilled to be able to combine our technology with Auransa's and tackle neglected diseases affecting women. Together, we have unique perspectives on the industry and of unmet needs the pharmaceutical industry can and should tackle, utilizing the best technology available." said Dr. Shahar Keinan, POLARISqb CEO.


Auransa is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven pharmaceutical company developing precision medicines in areas of significant unmet need.  They are working to redefine medicine, combining a sophisticated, proprietary and predictive computational platform with traditional pharmaceutical experience.  The company's SMarTR™ Engine has proprietary machine learning, advanced analytics and mathematics in an AI framework to generate insights from molecular data for a deep understanding of disease biology and patient subtypes. Auransa has successfully generated a broad pipeline of drug candidates addressing cancer, auto-immune, infectious and metabolic diseases advancing toward investigational new drug (IND) filings.  Learn more:


POLARISqb is the first drug discovery platform built for quantum computers. The company is transforming health for people everywhere, revolutionizing drug design by accelerating lead time for preclinical drug candidates. Founded in 2020 by Shahar Keinan, CEO, and Bill Shipman, CTO, POLARISqb uses the latest cloud, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to operate 10,000 times faster than alternative solutions. With real-time adaptability, POLARISqb can produce up to 100 drug blueprints annually. The resulting high-quality lead molecules are taken to synthesis, testing, and licensed to pharmaceutical partners for further development within months, rather than years. Learn more:

PolarisQB Announce Hiring of Pharmacologist Ian Reynolds

Polarisqb  is proud to add Dr. Ian Reynolds, a world renowned expert in pharmacology, as an advisor to the company. Dr. Ian Reynolds is an experienced pharmaceutical executive who has been recognized for his work in small molecule drug discovery and has helped a number of academic researchers translate into the world of biotech research and drug development.

Dr. Ian Reynolds, renowned pharmacologist, is joining PolarisQB as an advisor.

Following a PhD. from Johns Hopkins in pharmacology and a postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Chicago’s Neuropharmacology department, Dr. Reynolds has been involved in a number of successful pharmaceutical ventures, including Knopp Biosciences and Teva Pharmaceuticals before taking over as the CEO of Belgium’s Rewind Therapeutics in 2018. He has studied a wide variety of Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases over the course of his career, investigating drug targets and therapeutic treatments for diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.. 


Both Dr. Reynolds and Polarisqb  are excited about the continued development of the Tachyontm quantum drug discovery platform, as it holds great promise for novel drug development for many diseases that have proven difficult or impossible for researchers to reach. Strong computational models will end up enabling researchers to look at much more complex chemical interactions. As Dr. Reynolds stated, “The current in silico process for drug discovery requires that scientists simplify the characteristics they are testing for, to fall within the limits of classical computational parameters. The promise of computer aided drug design on a quantum system is that researchers could factor for a multitude of properties on a single run, allowing for a much more efficient process, better results, and shorter drug development timelines.” By utilizing quantum computing, the Tachyontm platform is able to identify the right molecule that will become a drug from a library of billion molecules in a fraction of the time that it would take for classical systems to run the same combinatorial optimizations. 


Polarisqb is utilizing quantum computing to reduce the timelines of computer aided drug discovery many times over. Dr. Reynolds expertise in pharmacology, and especially in CNS diseases, will drive forward the promise of quantum computing aided drug design. Dr. Reynolds predicts that “The future of protein targeting will likely be 100% in silico, but we are currently in the process of transitioning between a largely wet lab dependent operation and more powerful computing solutions like the Tachyon system that Polarisqb  is building. These systems have the potential to revolutionize the optimization process and with it the entire drug research and development industry.”