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A Start-Up Is Trying to Discover Drugs with Quantum Computing… Wait, Where Did It Go?

Quantum Computing Patent Forecast®

March 25, 2021

Occasionally, patent applications issue to companies that have seemingly disappeared, but Patent Forecast® is on the case! In March 2021, a patent application published to an English startup called GTN Ltd. The publication states that the invention involves using machine learning and quantum computing to perform drug discovery, which matches a brief description of the company on their limited website, and would represent a wild departure from anything seen on the Quantum Computing Patent Forecast® before. In May 2018, when the application in question was filed, GTN’s prospects looked good. They had raised nearly $3 million in capital and shortly after received the 2018 CogX Rising Star Award from PM Theresa May. However, the last time GTN Ltd.’s Twitter feed posted anything was in November of 2019 and their LinkedIn page appears to be deleted. 

It may seem pointless to talk about a company whose activity has seemingly stalled, but the story goes much deeper. The application published in March lists three inventors: Vid Stojevic, Noor Shaker, and Matthias Bal. Vid Stojevic is listed as having been the CTO of GTN, while Noor Shaker was the CEO. Vid Stojevic now leads Kuano, a company dedicated to using quantum computing and AI to perform drug discovery. Sound familiar? Kuano has no published US applications, but Google Patents appears to indicate that there may be a British patent coming. Kuano hasn’t been slacking in securing funding either, with it receiving a round of investment led by o2h Ventures in March of 2021. Noor Shaker, on the other hand, founded her own startup called Glamorous AI, a company dedicated to, you guessed it, using AI to perform drug discovery. 

Drug Discovery is likely to be an area that companies seek to cut costs in in the future, and AI and quantum computing present a promising way to do so. While Quantum Computing giants like IBM and D-Wave Systems are not likely going to begin researching drugs, they could acquire a startup in this area in order to add drug discovery to a suite of services they are able to perform for other pharma giants. In fact, given the expenses associated with drug discovery, companies like Pfizer would likely pay a large amount for even an option that affords them a 10-20% price reduction. 

With GTN’s brain power seemingly having split into Kuano and Glamorous AI, different companies could clamour to acquire each, setting the stage for those companies to compete for clients in the pharmaceutical industry. However, if Kuano and Glamorous AI don’t act fast to produce patents, the industry giants could blow past them entirely and develop their own systems.

To keep up to date with any application filed by Kuano and Glamorous AI, explore the Quantum Computing Patent Forecast®!

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Relevant Patent Documents

Application US20210081804  

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Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform computation.

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Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform computation.