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The global quantum computing market size in drug discovery application is estimated to grow from USD 368 million in 2023 to USD 1,633 million by 2035, growing at a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period from 2023-2035.
The early stages of research related to drug discovery, including the identification of a relevant biological target and a viable lead compound, play an important role in the overall success of a drug candidate in preclinical and clinical studies. The process of drug development, beginning from the discovery of a pharmacological lead to its commercial launch, is estimated to take around 10-15 years, involving capital investments in the range of USD 4 billion - USD 10 billion. Over time, the complexities associated with drug discovery have increased, specifically, for large molecules, which are inherently more complex than small molecule drugs. In order to overcome various challenges related to drug discovery, such as rising capital requirements and failure of late-stage programs, several pharmaceutical players are currently exploring the implementation of quantum computing in drug discovery processes.
Quantum computing is a process that uses laws of quantum mechanics to solve large and complex problems in a short span as compared to the computer-aided drug discovery. Currently, there are several quantum computing related approaches that are being used in the drug discovery process alone, such as structure-based drug design, fragment-based drug discovery and ligand-based drug discovery. The predictive power of quantum computing has proven to reduce the complexity, cost and time investment in the overall drug discovery procedure by allowing researchers to bypass the random screening of billions of molecules in a short span of time. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry stakeholders have started relying on the companies offering quantum computing software and hardware to support drug discovery. Furthermore, considering the various initiatives being undertaken actively by quantum computing companies, we are led to believe that the opportunity for stakeholders in quantum computing market, upcoming industry is likely to grow at a steady pace in the foreseen future.
The Quantum Computing Market in Drug Discovery: Distribution by Drug Discovery Service Offered (Target Identification / Validation, Hit Generation / Lead Identification and Lead Optimization), Therapeutic Area (Cardiovascular Disorders, CNS Disorders, Dermatological Disorders, Endocrine Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Immunological Disorders, Infectious Diseases, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Oncological Disorders, Respiratory Disorders and Others), and Key Geographical Regions (North America (US and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany and Rest of the Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan and Rest of the Asia Pacific), Latin America and Middle East and North Africa): Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2023-2035 report features an extensive study of the current market landscape, market size and future potential of quantum computing in drug discovery market. The report highlights the efforts of several stakeholders engaged in this rapidly emerging segment of the pharmaceutical industry. The report answers many key questions related to quantum computing market forecast and trends.
Quantum computing is a rapidly emerging technology that uses quantum mechanism to solve large and complex problems in a short span of time as compared to traditional computers. Quantum computing has created a huge impact on the pharmaceutical industry in a short time period. It has wide applications in the pharmaceutical industry / medicine in areas such as drug discovery, disease analysis and diagnosis. Various industry stakeholders are integrating quantum computing for the discovery and development of drugs. Presently, quantum computing is used for the discovery and development of drugs owing to its capability of screening billions of molecules for specific targets in a short span of time. This procedure reduces the complexity and helps in saving time and cost associated with the drug discovery process. Quantum technology is supporting several steps within drug discovery from target identification to lead optimization.
Owing to the various benefits of quantum computing, such as big data processing and complex molecular modeling for minimizing cost and time investment, the adoption rate of quantum computing in pharmaceutical industry is expected to increase rapidly during the forecast period.
The companies supporting drug discovery efforts include both quantum computing software providers and quantum computing hardware providers. Software companies claim to offer services across various types of drug discovery steps. Further, these are focused on different types of therapeutic areas, primarily including oncological disorders, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Hardware companies primarily offer hardware as a service; some of the players also offer the option of purchasing the hardware directly.
Currently, various partnerships have been inked for application of quantum computing in drug discovery. Majority of these partnerships are research and development agreements, followed by platform utilization agreements. Drug developers require support from both quantum computing software and hardware developers. In July 2021, Riverlane and Astex Pharmaceuticals announced their collaboration with Rigetti Computing to utilize their quantum systems along with Riverlane’s algorithm expertise to develop molecular models of chemical compounds and study their interaction with proteins in the human body. Another UK based company, Quantinnum, launched its quantum computational chemistry software named InQuanto in 2022. The company collaborated with an undisclosed big pharmaceutical developer for quantifying drug-protein interactions. Collaborations will be inevitable in this market and will put forward quantum computing use cases for the pharmaceutical industry. We expect the quantum computing software and hardware companies to increasingly collaborate with the drug developers to provide a solution to the drug discovery and drug design challenges, driving the market growth during the forecast period.
In addition to the partnerships and collaboration between the industry players, a number of academic institutes are collaborating with quantum computing software and hardware companies on projects to accelerate the use of quantum computing in drug discovery and development. Such projects are receiving grants from several non-profit organizations. Currently, more than 170 grants have been awarded to various organizations, primarily focused on quantum computing in drug discovery. Further, it is important to mention that the maximum number of grants have been awarded under type 5 category. In late 2022, a team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University received USD 1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to design drugs targeting Ras family for treatment of cancer. In the UK as well, Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund provided a GBP 6.85 million grant to SEEQC for development of a full-stack quantum computer for Merck. Riverlane, Oxford Instruments, the University of Oxford, Medicines Discovery Catapult, and members from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, including the UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre are all part of the consortium led by SEEQC which is responsible for the project.
As the adoption of quantum computing in drug discovery increases amongst innovators in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, lucrative opportunities are expected to emerge for players offering services for quantum computing in drug discovery. The global quantum computing market, focused on drug discovery is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~14% from 2023 to 2035.
North America currently holds nearly 50% share of the quantum computing market for drug discovery. This region will continue to drive the market growth during the forecast period with an estimated CAGR of 14% from 2023 – 2035. A number of start-ups working on improving the drug discovery process using quantum computing are based in North America and Europe. One such company in the US based quantum computing software developer, Zapata Computing, which was formed as a spin-off from Harvard University in 2017.
Examples of service providers engaged in quantum computing market (which have also been captured in this report) include (in alphabetic order) Accenture, Aurora Fine Chemicals, Amazon Web Services, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Xanadu and XtalPi. This market report includes information on all the quantum computing software and hardware companies supporting the application of quantum technology in drug discovery.
Several recent developments have taken place in the field of quantum computing in drug discovery. We have outlined some of these recent initiatives below. These developments, even if they took place post the release of our quantum computing market report, substantiate the overall market trends that have been outlined in our analysis.
The quantum computing report features an in-depth analysis of various firms / organizations that are engaged in supporting drug discovery, across different segments as defined in the table below:
2023 – 2035
Market Size 2022
Type of Drug Discovery Services Offered
Target Identification / Validation, Hit Generation / Lead Identification, Lead Optimization
Cardiovascular Disorders, CNS Disorders, Dermatological Disorders, Endocrine Disorders, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Immunological Disorders, Infectious Diseases, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Oncological Disorders, Respiratory Disorders, Other Indications
Key Geographical Regions
|North America (US and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany and Rest of the Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan and Rest of the Asia Pacific), Middle East and North Africa, Latin America
Key Companies Profiled
15% Free Customization Option (equivalent to 5 Analyst working days)
|Excel Data Packs (Complimentary)
|Market Landscape Analysis, Company Competitiveness Analysis, Grant Analysis, Partnership and Collaboration Analysis, Market Forecast and Opportunity Analysis
The market report presents an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various stakeholders engaged in this industry, across different geographies. Amongst other elements, the report includes:
One of the key objectives of the market report was to estimate the current market size, opportunity and future growth potential of quantum computing market in drug discovery over the forecast period. We have provided informed estimates on the likely evolution of the market for the period, 2023-2035. Our year-wise projections of the current and future opportunity have further been segmented based on relevant parameters, such as drug discovery services offered (target identification / validation, hit generation / lead identification and lead optimization), therapeutic area (cardiovascular disorders, CNS disorders, dermatological disorders, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, immunological disorders, infectious diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, oncological disorders, respiratory disorders and others), and key geographical regions ((North America (US and Canada), Europe (UK, France, Germany and Rest of the Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan and Rest of the Asia Pacific), Latin America and Middle East and North Africa). In order to account for future uncertainties associated with some of the key parameters and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three market forecast scenarios, namely conservative, base, and optimistic scenarios, representing different tracks of the industry’s evolution.
The opinions and insights presented in the report were influenced by discussions held with stakeholders in this domain. The market report features detailed transcripts of interviews held with the industry stakeholders.
All actual figures have been sourced and analyzed from publicly available information forums and primary research discussions. Financial figures mentioned in this report are in USD, unless otherwise specified.