Nvidia-Genentech AI drug discovery alliance unites computing brawn with biological brains

NVIDIA BioNeMo AI molecular modeling software can uncover complex biochemical interactions through AI-driven molecular modeling techniques. [Image courtesy of NVIDIA]

Technically, graphics processing and AI hardware powerhouse Nvidia is also a drug discovery company. It may not discover drugs in-house, but it has developed BioNeMo, a comprehensive generative AI platform for drug discovery and Clara, a collection of healthcare frameworks, applications, and tools, including for biopharma. Nvidia partners include Amgen, AstraZeneca, GSK and Insilico Medicine.

Similarly, biotech pioneer and Roche subsidiary Genentech is also an AI company. It has experience in applying machine learning to an array of disease areas, and has extensive biological and molecular datasets and research capabilities. Its initiatives include alliance with firms such as Recursion Pharmaceuticals and Reverie Labs that focus on using AI for nov…

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Asensus, Nvidea to collab on AI for surgical robotics

The Intelligent Surgical Unit powers the Senhance surgical robot system. [Image courtesy of Asensus Surgical]Asensus Surgical (NYSE:ASXC) announced today that it entered into a collaboration with Nvidia to accelerate the development of its ISU.

The partnership aims to enhance the ISU (Intelligent Surgical Unit), part of Asensus’ performance-guided surgery offerings. Asensus designed its flagship Senhance surgical robot platform around the ISU. The real-time intraoperative surgical image analytics platform leverages augmented intelligence to reduce surgical variability. It allows the surgeon to measure anatomy, place digital tags, enhance surgical images and utilize AI-driven control of the camera.

Asensus said it linked up with Nvidia, an AI computing leader, to improve the ISU’s ability to deliver novel clinical intelligence to surgeons. Read more on Nvidia and its use of generative AI in the pharmaceutical industry here.

Research Triangle Park…

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Medical imaging AI startup Flywheel wins Series D round backed by NVIDIA, Microsoft and HPE

[Image courtesy of Flywheel]

Minneapolis-based Flywheel has received $54 million in a Series D round backed by NVIDIA, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and other strategic investors.

Flywheel will invest the cash to fuel growth in core verticals, the pharmaceutical and public sector healthcare sectors. A notable Big Pharma customer is Genentech. The company also aims to ramp up expansion into emerging areas such as healthcare providers, payers, IT service providers and software vendors. Finally, Flywheel intends to extend its global footprint, especially in key markets in Europe.

Current challenges in medical AI

Medical imaging has long faced challenges with data complexity and a mosaic of metadata and formats, including DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) to JPG or TIFF and modalities spanning MRI, CT, PET and ultrasound. Despite some standardization, fragmented formats prevail fr…

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Medtronic turns to third-party developers to boost GI Genius’ AI

The GI Genius module’s AI-based enhancements include green boxes that highlight areas that may need extra scrutiny during a colonoscopy. [Image courtesy of Medtronic]

Medtronic has turned to Nvidia to enable an AI Access platform to boost the GI Genius intelligent endoscopy module’s capabilities.

Think of a software-based business model — an app marketplace — where third-party developers create new AI tools to boost early colorectal cancer detection during colonoscopies. It’s a type of product development strategy that may become more common among medical device companies, especially as they shift toward more innovation in the digital space.

The world’s largest medtech company points to GI Genius as the first FDA-cleared, AI-assisted colonoscopy tool that helps physicians detect polyps leading to colorectal cancer.  Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, GI Genius’s developer and manufactur…

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Nvidia launches BioNeMo Cloud as a breakthrough AI service for drug discovery research

[Image courtesy of Nvidia]

During Nvidia’s (Nasdaq:NVDA) GTC event, the company introduced BioNeMo Cloud, a new component to their AI Foundations suite. This service, designed to streamline life sciences research, drug discovery and protein engineering, provides researchers with access to pretrained AI models, allowing for customization with proprietary data. Offered as a cloud service, BioNeMo Cloud enables accelerated drug discovery workflows, with multinational biotech company Amgen (Nasdaq:AMGN) and several startups already utilizing the platform.

BioNeMo Cloud features pretrained AI models for molecular biology, chemistry and molecular dynamics. The platform allows researchers to fine-tune models with proprietary data, executing AI model inference via web browsers or new cloud APIs. This accelerates drug discovery, molecular identification and protein 3D structure prediction.

Featured models in…

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Startup Evozyne identifies ‘supernatural’ proteins with Nvidia’s pretrained AI model

[Protein image courtesy of Nvidia]

AI computing firm Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA) and the Chicago-based biotech startup Evozyne have teamed up to develop an AI model for designing therapeutic proteins. Using NVIDIA’s BioNeMo language model service, the companies developed the Protein Transformer Variational AutoEncoder (ProT-VAE) model.

The initial focus of the Evozyne research team was on the PAH gene, which governs the production of the phenylalanine-hydroxylase enzyme. A mutation in the PAH gene has been linked to phenylketonuria, a rare condition characterized by elevated levels of phenylalanine that can lead to neurological problems.

With the goal of developing a novel treatment for phenylketonuria, ProT-VAE created new synthetic PAH variants that they predicted would have “supernatural” functionality. Lab tests eventually demonstrated that some of the protein variants were up to 2.5 times more effecti…

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Spectrum Instrumentation providing PCIe-cards for Nvidia Clara developer PC

Spectrum Instrumentation (Grosshansdorf, Germany) announced today that it is providing driver support for the Nvidia Clara AGX computing architecture, meant to support next-gen AI medical instruments.

Scientists and developers can pick from 64 different Spectrum digitizers, arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) and digital I/O cards. The drivers enable the Nvidia Clara AGX kit perform high-speed electronic signal acquisition and generation for analog and digital signals.

The variety of cards means that medtech developers can exactly match their electronic signal requirements, according to Spectrum Instrumentation.

The Nvidia Clara AGX developer kit is supposed to provide an easy platform to develop software-defined, AI-enabled, real-time, point-of-care medical devices.

Said Spectrum Instrumentation: “Adding a Spectrum card to the Clara system allows sensor signals to be acquired, generated, stored and processed. Data can be streamed between t…

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