Supercomputers Spar With the Virus 💻

by 23 Mar, 2020

Supercomputers Spar With the Virus

The human race is throwing everything it’s got at coronavirus, from power hoses to public health warnings. Quantum computing is now sinking its teeth into the crisis. IBM is using tech for good!

‘Summit’ draws so much power that it makes the neighbours’ lights dim. It’s one heck of a machine. It’s currently running thousands of simulations to analyse which drugs offer the best hope of treating the deadly coronavirus. It’s the size of two tennis courts and has the processing power of over a million laptops, and it says to wash your hands!

It also says seventy-seven drug compounds might offer some vaccine potential, which is news to celebrate both as members of humankind and as members of the Invstr community.

IBM’s quantum clues will help fund the race for a vaccine, currently led by Gilead Sciences and Moderna. The World Health Organisation (WHO) can expect its promising shortlist of forty-one drug candidates to grow even bigger, and healthcare stocks are also set to enjoy more limelight.

The drug approval pipeline takes typically about ten years, but President Trump has cut away much of the red tape to fast-track a winning jab. Some experts predict twelve to fourteen months of further development is needed, though, by which point we may have developed herd immunity.

That would curb stocks of the medical sciences, but lift markets more generally as an end to the crisis. For now, we’re still in its depths. The best of the bulls are hoping for a repeat of last week on the Dow(n) Jones, while bears see it getting much, much worse. Let’s hope for better!

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