Google’s newest bet: AI-powered drug discovery

Isomorphic Laboratories is Alphabet’s play for the $110B+ drug discovery market.

If you’ve never seen protein folding…well here it is (Source: DeepMind)

Back in 2015, Google rebranded as Alphabet Inc.

The official reason behind the move: Alphabet leadership wanted to create a holding company that would house its various ambitions (AKA “Berkshire Hathaway for tech”).

The reality is that “Google” — which houses the search engine, YouTube, Gmail, Workspaces, and Maps — still makes 80%+ of Alphabet revenue.

Could a healthcare bet change that?

Last week, Alphabet announced the formation of Isomorphic Laboratories, per The Verge. The new company is attacking a big problem with huge potential: AI-powered drug discovery.

The technology that underpins the company is from Alphabet’s AI arm, DeepMind, which recently made headlines by uncovering — and making freely available — hundreds of millions of AI-discovered protein structures.

Why is this important?

Proteins are long molecules that rebuild human tissue and fight disease. Their function is dictated by their shape, and DeepMind has seemingly cracked the code.

According to BCC Research, the market for drug discovery technology will be worth $110B by 2025. Isomorphic Laboratories is Alphabet’s play to own that market.

Whether it succeeds or not, we refuse to ever refer to Google as “Alphabet.”

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