Menten AI partners with Xanadu to develop quantum machine learning for protein-based drug discovery

January 25, 2022

Menten AI selects Xanadu's open-source library PennyLane to leverage quantum simulation and quantum machine learning capabilities to develop novel protein-based drugs.

Menten AI partners with Xanadu to build solutions on top of Xanadu's open-source software, PennyLane, to design novel drug molecules that can efficiently bind to a specific target of interest. Menten AI intends to develop new approaches that are beyond the reach of current computational methods by integrating quantum computing and classical machine learning techniques.

Menten AI's breakthrough platform brings to bear protein design, machine learning, and quantum computing to create and fast-track the development of new therapeutic molecules from target selection to in vivo efficacy in record time. Menten AI recognizes the long-term potential for quantum computing to deliver on the promise of computational drug design by enabling superior optimization and simulation of molecules while significantly reducing R&D costs and expediting time to patients' hands. The team's decision to use PennyLane as the base for its quantum machine learning solutions will accelerate the drug design process and deliver new, more potent, and safer molecules faster.

"Xanadu's PennyLane platform offers a convenient integration of scientific computing and machine learning libraries with access to commercially available quantum simulators and NISQ devices. This allows for rapid prototyping and deployment of hybrid quantum-classical algorithms that take advantage of the state-of-the-art in both computing modalities, allowing us to focus on generating novel peptide candidates rather than integrating these libraries ourselves. NISQ era quantum advantage will require intelligent use of quantum and classical computing in tandem, and PennyLane moves us a step in that direction," says Ian MacCormack, PhD, Senior Quantum Computing Scientist at Menten AI.

The first project in this partnership will focus on training hybrid machine learning models to generate bioactive peptides for novel drug targets.

Led by Xanadu's world-renowned team of scientists and developers, PennyLane has built a large and passionate following since its initial release three years ago. PennyLane connects the most popular quantum computing platforms with the best machine learning tools using a device-agnostic and open-source approach.

PennyLane's differentiable programming approach to quantum computing is both powerful and user-friendly. It seamlessly integrates classical machine learning libraries with quantum hardware and simulators, allowing users to train quantum computers in the same way as neural networks.

"One of the central goals for PennyLane is to provide its users with all the tools necessary to develop and implement new quantum algorithms. Menten AI's decision to build their solutions on top of PennyLane is a testament of the success of this goal. We are happy to welcome them to the growing worldwide community of PennyLane users across industry and academia," said Juan Miguel Arrazola, Xanadu's Head of Algorithms.

About Menten AI:

Menten AI is a platform drug discovery company focused on designing peptide therapeutics for conditions with high unmet medical needs. Menten AI develops computational methods for protein design that leverage machine learning and quantum computing. The company has received USD 6 million in seed investment from leading venture capital firms including Uncork Capital, Social Impact Capital, Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator amongst others. Visit for more information.

About PennyLane:

PennyLane is an open-source software framework for quantum machine learning, quantum chemistry, and quantum computing built around the concept of quantum differentiable programming. It seamlessly integrates classical machine learning libraries with quantum hardware and simulators, giving users the power to train quantum computers the same way as neural networks.

To find out more, visit the PennyLane website (, or check out the gallery of hands-on quantum machine learning content (

About Xanadu:

Xanadu is a Canadian quantum technology company with the mission to build quantum computers that are useful and available to people everywhere. Founded in 2016, Xanadu has become one of the world's leading quantum hardware and software companies. The company also leads the development of PennyLane, an open-source software library for quantum computing and application development. Visit or follow us on Twitter @XanaduAI.


For further information: Tamás Görbe -

Published on January 25, 2022

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