Virtual reality startup and Fujitsu bring immersive drug design software to Japanese market
San Diego–based virtual reality (VR) startup Nanome, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Fujitsu to bring their signature product—an immersive scientific design and collaboration platform—to the Japanese market. The software is already used by more than 15 of the top US-based biopharmaceutical companies.
Nanome became the first VR software company to launch an immersive real-time collaboration platform for scientific discovery in 2015. The software environment accelerates scientific decision making by allowing users to visualize, modify, and simulate biological and chemical compounds, facilitating effective communication of data and integrating with existing computational chemistry workflows.
“Our software enables the analysis of complicated structures in 3D space,” said Nanome COO Keita Funakawa. “It can help gain insights into data that were not accessible using 2D tools.”
Beginning this month, Fujitsu, a multinational information technology equipment and services company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, will sell Nanome software licenses to Japanese pharmaceutical companies. This places Nanome in one of the largest markets in the world. The startup hopes to expand the partnership to address the needs of chemical engineering and materials science companies.
“The number of corporations in Japan using VR software is projected to more than double by 2025,” said Akihiko Harada of Fujitsu. “We were keen to partner with Nanome to bring this innovative platform to Japan. This partnership is right in line with our efforts to drive new value from cutting-edge digital technologies that not only transform the way we work and live, but contribute to solving global social challenges.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began late last year, the startup’s software has been used by researchers globally to evaluate the ability of antibody and small molecule drug candidates to bind the viral proteins. In June, Nanome became the first US-based company to join European Union government supercomputing efforts against SARS-CoV-2 by providing virtual reality headsets and Nanome software access to selected members of the Exscalate4Cov consortium.
“Our partnership with Fujitsu will enable us to provide real-time scientific collaboration tools to companies at the forefront of the fight against SARS-CoV-2,” said Steve McCloskey, CEO of Nanome. “By making it easy and intuitive for researchers to evaluate candidate molecules, we hope to help decrease the time it takes to get an effective drug to market and enable scientists to stay one step ahead.”