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New grounds for boosting pharmaceutical R&D with quantum computing

How quantum computing can be leveraged to accelerate translational research and clinical development

“Quantum computing could accelerate pharmaceutical R&D by better simulating and predicting the biological and clinical phenomena linked to human health.”

Sébastien Tourlet, Director, Intelligent Industry and Life Sciences, Capgemini Invent

We stand at the brink of profound breakthrough in quantum computing, one in which the number of calculations per second is exponentially increased. This increased computation opens new doors for all industries, but especially for pharmaceuticals. Built on principles of quantum mechanics, these next-gen computers leverage different types of algorithms to perform quantum optimization, simulation, and machine learning. This will be a revolution in pharmaceutical R&D, facilitating the modeling of complex chemical and biological phenomena, from molecular structures to patient medical history.

The technological ecosystem is still working on a more stable qubit to move towards a more reliable quantum computer. Most companies are still seeking to understand how quantum could be leveraged.A more stable quantum hardware is available on premises or via cloud. The first applications are commercialized and early adopters are harvesting the benefits.Quantum computers are fully integrated in tech stack. Stabilized qubits allow the implementation of a full range of applications across industries. Companies gain maturity in leveraging quantum computing.
Quantum technologies timeline

At Capgemini, we believe quantum computing will be used to increase the success rates of clinical trials. Greater processing power will lead to advanced modelling of diseases and the effects of treatments at gene, cell, tissue, organ, patient, and population level. As a result, we will all soon live in a world with more optimal trials with reduced patient cohorts. Moreover, the lengthy and complicated trial process can be reduced, enabling us to react even more swiftly to future health crises and make new progress in treatments for existing diseases.

In the next decade, drug discovery and clinical development could be drastically accelerated by quantum computing.

Quantum calculations

The pharmaceutical industry is already preparing to embrace this game-changing new technology, and with good reason. The numbers speak for themselves. Quantum computing will make molecule development much cheaper, improve the success rate of clinical trials, and generally speed up the whole R&D process.

USD 1.5+ BLN7%1.5 BLN times
The cost of bringing a new molecule to market (Wouters, McKee, and Luyten, 2020)The probability of launching the drug when starting phase 1 clinical trials 7% (Dowden & Munro, 2019)How much faster quantum computers are than predecessors (Google, 2019)

Speeding up drug discovery with quantum computing would imply changes in the portfolio management strategies and potential re-internalization of research activities. But progress and change go hand in hand.

Quantum Capgemini

At Capgemini Invent, we strive to keep our clients ahead of the curve with key research and insights into bleeding-edge technology, just like emerging quantum solutions. Our Life Sciences team has extensive global expertise, positioned to help companies take advantage of new scientific approaches, analytics, and digital.

Find out how the quantum is a whole new world of possibilities waiting to be explored. Check out our latest publication: New Grounds for Boosting Pharmaceutical R&D With Quantum Computing and get in touch with one of our experts to dive even deeper.

Contact our experts

Thorsten Rall

Global Industry Lead Life Sciences, EVP
Since January 2023, Thorsten has been the Executive Vice President and Global Industry Lead for Life Sciences at Capgemini. Previously, he worked at Novartis in various senior roles. As Senior Vice President of Digital Transformation & Innovation, he led the digital function, developed and implemented high-risk, high-return strategic innovation initiatives, and was responsible for Business Development and partnerships in the digital space.

Damien Vossion

Vice President at Capgemini Invent, Life Sciences & Operating Model
I started my career as a consultant in 2000 and gained experience in major transformation projects in Manufacturing, Quality, Supply Chain, and clinical operations, with a strong focus on Industry 4.0 since 2015. I supported General Management in the Life Sciences sector (Pharmaceutical companies, Medical Device companies, and Chemical companies) as well as other large industrial and services companies. I now manage the Life Sciences department at Capgemini Invent in France and co-develop the Life Sciences in Switzerland.

Piollet Etienne

Vice President, Intelligent Industry, Capgemini Invent
Experienced consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. Strong professional skilled in Operational Performance Improvement, Finance Transformation, Business Case, Business Process Improvement, and Lean Management.

Sébastien Tourlet

Director, Intelligent Industry and Life Sciences, Capgemini Invent

Antoine Grissonnanche

Senior Manager, Intelligent Industry, Capgemini Invent

Maryia Dvaretskaya

Managing Consultant, Insights for Intelligent Industry – Life Sciences, Capgemini Invent
I have almost 10 years of international and cross-sector experience, with a major focus on innovation and life sciences. Working with different teams across pharma value chain helped me getting a good grip of the industry’s stakes. Passionate about digital technologies, and original business models, I have specialized in strategic and operational projects around leveraging data and AI for healthcare.