A joint effort between Immunotherapy startup ImmunityBio and Microsoft aims to discover and target COVID-19’s infection doorway. The two companies brought their computing powers together in order to deliver 24 petaflops of GPU computing capability and create a highly detailed model of the SARS-COV-2 spike protein. The combined capability resulted in a model being produced within days instead of months.
“Association of the COVID-19 spike protein with host ACE-2 surface proteins is a crucial step in infection. Structures of this complex are available, but understanding how the two proteins dynamically interact is critical to targeting it. This gives us valuable information about how COVID-19 binds to lung cells and what drives the association,” ImmunityBio Chairman and CEO Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong said in a press release.
According to the press release, Microsoft quickly deployed High Performance Compute cluster on Microsoft Azure cloud service to support ImmunityBio’s efforts. The clusters were made up of 1,250 NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core high performance graphics processing units (GPUs). Microsoft Healthcare Senior Vice President Dr. James Weinstein said that the company is committed to supporting ImmunityBio to find a way to end the COVID-19 pandemic.