Ozempic creator plans AI supercomputer to help it discover new drugs

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The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Danish organization which owns the drugmaker that makes Ozempic and Wegovy, is investing some of the money those blockbuster drugs have earned into an AI-based supercomputer. The cost of building the supercomputer was not disclosed.

The company has contracted Eviden, a French tech company, to build “Gefion,” an artificial intelligence-driven supercomputer designed to help it discover new medicines and treatments. It’s expected to be operational before the end of the year.

“The AI supercomputer [will] … provide an unprecedented potential to accelerate groundbreaking scientific discoveries in areas such as drug discovery, disease diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Cédric Bourrasset, Head of HPC-AI and Quantum Computing, Eviden, Atos Group in a statement. “This new supercomputer will be a powerful resource to further boost AI research and collaboration between academia and Danish industry in Denmark’s already thriving AI-based research ecosystem.”

Gefion will be built at Denmark’s national center for AI innovation—and will be available for use by researchers in both the private and public sectors of the country.

Nvidia is a backer of the device and Gefion will use the company’s latest chips, announced this week, to approach the queries scientists throw at it. Novo Nordisk execs claim the system will be “one of the world’s most powerful AI supercomputers.”

The popularity of Ozempic and Wegovy has made Novo Nordisk a stock-market power, overtaking Tesla in recent weeks, and has helped propel Denmark’s economy to become the third-most prosperous in Europe.  

Beyond the supercomputer, the company is using some of that income to build a “mega manufacturing facility” outside of Dublin to help it keep up with soaring demand.

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