Virtual reality (VR) has been a hot topic in game industry lately, but now it finds its way to biopharmaceutical research. Novartis is exploring opportunities to leverage this new technology for the benefit of early-stage small molecule drug discovery research. Using VR researchers at Novartis are able to visualize protein targets and small molecules and explore interactions between them in a visual three-dimensional mode.
What is even more important, virtual reality technology allows for a collaborative mode when several researchers are on the same page in the virtual environment --- looking at the same objects and discussing them interactively in 3-D space. In this way, instead of showing countless slides in the presentation, a medicinal chemist can quickly convey ideas about the next molecule modifications to her colleagues via VR setting.
Watch a video for more insights from Novartis on how they use VR technology for drug discovery R&D.