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Northern Data: AI Leader Innoplexus Chooses Northern Data HPC Solutions to Accelerate Drug Discovery and Development Against COVID-19

Innoplexus and Northern Data form strategic partnership to accelerate Artificial Intelligence-based drug development

Northern Data AG, one of the world’s largest providers of high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, announces a strategic partnership with Innoplexus AG to accelerate drug discovery and development against COVID-19 and other diseases.

“Additional to the partnership with Innoplexus, we are close to securing several more large clients. We are confident to fully provide the one-gigawatt capacity latest by the end of this year and are already working on the enlargement of our Texas site to 3.6 gigawatts in total.”

Innoplexus is a leading global Artificial Intelligence (AI) based platform for drug discovery and development with over 300 employees in Europe, Asia and the US and more than 100 patent applications including 14 grants in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technologies. Innoplexus clients include big pharma like Merck, Gilead; Contract Research Organizations such as PPD as well as innovative biotech firms like SanBio.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that drug development needs to be accelerated in order to serve patients in need. Responding to time pressure, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions around the world are now using high-performance computing (HPC) on a large scale to perform epidemiological and other in-silico calculations and simulations that would take months or even years on traditional platforms.

“Innoplexus leverages AI to generate insights across the entire value chain for drug discovery and development. Northern Data provides us and our clients with the necessary HPC infrastructure at an unparalleled quality, quantity and price level to enhance these capabilities, scaling up and accelerating our key programs even further”, says Dr. Gunjan Bhardwaj, Founder & CEO, Innoplexus.

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These insights are generated from enormous volumes of published and unpublished data. One pre-requisite is sufficient computational power – through scalable and efficient high-performance-computing (HPC) infrastructure. HPC offers many times the computing power that normal desktop PCs generate – thousands of high-performance computers processing billions of units of data in real-time. As a result, HPC can be used for tasks that would be impossible for regular computers or would take an impractically long time to complete. Demand for HPC is fast-growing, with many applications ranging from AI to scientific modelling to video rendering solutions. As a result, HPC capacities are scarce and difficult to secure.

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HPC is complex and requires significant experience and expertise to run successfully, something that Northern Data has spent years developing successfully and in which it now occupies a world-leading position. For example, the hardware requires a magnitude more electrical energy and cooling than traditional computer systems. Conventional data centers consume power in the low double-digit megawatt range – by comparison, Northern Data’s Texas plant will be operating at 1.0 gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) in its first phase by the end of the year and will be enlarged to 3.6 gigawatts over the next three years.

In order to offer Innoplexus and its clients preferred access to Northern Data’s solutions and capacities especially in Europe, the companies have formed a strategic partnership.

“The HPC market has been in its infancy for the past few years but is currently skyrocketing across a range of diverse application areas. The demand for HPC exceeds supply many times over. We conservatively estimate that, over the next 18 to 24 months, the demand for HPC capacity will be thirty times higher than the resources we can build up in a year. And there is no player on the market building more capacity than we are”, says Aroosh Thillainathan, CEO, Northern Data. “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the fight against the corona virus with Innoplexus as a partner. There is a massive need for HPC-capacity as we see a global race over who gets the tests and who gets the drugs. Since we are working on a global scale but at the same time both have our roots in Germany, it made a lot of sense to us to partner with Innoplexus.”

He adds: “Additional to the partnership with Innoplexus, we are close to securing several more large clients. We are confident to fully provide the one-gigawatt capacity latest by the end of this year and are already working on the enlargement of our Texas site to 3.6 gigawatts in total.”

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