Life Sciences has emerged as one of the most attractive areas to invest in since the coronavirus pandemic. Tech titans are not far behind. Google is betting big on Calico and DeepMind. Altos Lab was funded by Amazon. Elon Musk has invested heavily in Neuralink.
Photo Insert: Shuimu BioSciences cofounders: CEO, Allen Chunlong Guo (left) and Chair of Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Hongwei Wang (right).
ByteDance has now expanded into the world of life sciences. The internet tech behemoth invested in the biotech firm Shuimu BioSciences (Shuimu) last October, a company that is using cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform drug development.
Cryo-EM is a Nobel-winning method that provides high-resolution structural information on biological molecules under in vitro conditions.
It can depict the atomic-resolution structure of protein-drug interactions, allowing scientists to convert previously undruggable targets into druggable targets. The development of cryo-EM has created a great opportunity in precision treatments.
Shuimu collaborated with Thermo Fisher in 2019 to develop the Asia Pacific's first commercial cryo-EM facility, which will have two Titan Krios – powerful new microscopes that are able to show atoms and molecules in super high-definition 3D images.
This year, it will boost its commercial capacity to eight 300kV cryo-EMs, making it the largest facility in the world.
Shuimu's innovative drug discovery platform makes use of its high-throughput cryo-EM facility and artificial intelligence. It automates data collecting and model building workflows using artificial intelligence and deep learning methods. Instead of two weeks, an atomic model can be developed in one or two days.
Shuimu's massive data set of biological structures, which includes the structures of proteins, antibodies, nucleic acids, and other substances, is speeding up drug discovery and therapeutic targets.