Genentech and NVIDIA Form AI Research Collaboration for Drug Discovery and Development

Published on: 
BP Elements, BioPharm International's BP Elements, December 2023, Volume 2, Issue 12

Under this multi-year collaboration, Genentech and NVIDIA will use AI to optimize and accelerate each company’s platforms to discover and develop innovative therapeutics.

On Nov. 21, 2023, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, announced that it has entered into a multi-year strategic research collaboration with NVIDIA, a US-based computing company. The companies plan to combine Genentech’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, extensive biological and molecular datasets, and research expertise with NVIDIA’s accelerated computing capabilities and AI to speed up drug discovery and development.

The collaboration is meant to significantly enhance Genentech’s advanced AI research programs by turning the company’s generative AI models and algorithms into a next-generation AI platform, which would be designed to expedite the discovery and delivery of novel therapies. Under the agreement, the companies aim to accelerate and optimize Genentech’s proprietary machine learning algorithms and models on the NVIDIA DGX Cloud. The cloud provides a training-as-a-service platform that has been built on dedicated NVIDIA AI supercomputing and software, including NVIDIA BioNemo for generative AI applications in drug discovery.

Also under the agreement, NVIDIA will share its computing expertise with Genentech’s teams of computational scientists, under which Genentech’s models will be optimized and scaled. This process may also improve or enhance NVIDIA’s platforms.

The collaboration will also help accelerate Genentech’s “lab in a loop”, in which extensive experimental data will feed computational models to uncover patterns and make new, experimentally testable predictions. Scientists can then quickly assess these predictions in the lab, and the results are fed back into the models to improve the underlying computational model. This loop is expected to allow for the iterative development of better therapies, according to a company press release.


“By harnessing the power of AI models and algorithms with our unique data and experiments, we're unlocking scientific discoveries with incredible speed and generating insights at an unprecedented scale,” said Aviv Regev, executive vice-president and head of Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED), in the press release. “Bringing science and technology together has always been a foundation of biomedical breakthroughs at Genentech. We are thrilled to join forces with NVIDIA to further optimize our drug discovery and development to deliver treatments that transform people’s lives.”

“The greatest impact of generative AI is to revolutionize the life science and healthcare industry,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA, in the release. “Our collaboration to create Genentech’s next-generation AI platform will dramatically accelerate the pace of drug discovery and development.”

Source: Genentech