Baidu raising money for biotech firm that uses artificial intelligence


Robin Li, chief executive officer of Baidu.

Nelson Ching | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese internet search giant Baidu is in discussions with investors to raise up to $2 billion over three years for a new biotech company, CNBC has confirmed.

The company would be a standalone entity rather than a subsidiary of Baidu, said a person close to the matter. The individual was not authorized to speak publicly about the project. 

A number of investors are interested in joining the funding, the person said, adding that they could not disclose more details as talks are still in the early stage.

Reuters first reported the news. 

Baidu declined to comment when contacted by CNBC. 

The biotech company would focus on using artificial intelligence (AI) and computing to create new drugs and and make early-stage diagnoses of diseases such as cancer, the person said.

Powerful algorithms can be used to scan medical images or help develop drugs faster than humans can. 

Baidu’s move comes as China’s technology companies try to boost their presence in healthcare, a move accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Alibaba, Tencent-backed WeDoctor and Huawei have gone into fields including drug deliveries, online consultations with doctors, and medical image analysis. 

Earlier this year, Baidu gave away an algorithm it calls “LinerFold” for free to gene-testing agencies, epidemic control centers and research institutions. That algorithm is designed to identify the genetic make-up of viruses, which could help develop a vaccine. 

Baidu, which has typically been an internet search company, has been trying to expand into new areas from driverless cars to health technology, as it faces increasing competition in its core business. 

CEO Robin Li is personally involved in the biotech project, said the source who spoke to CNBC. 



Source link

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Palantir says it expects 42% revenue growth this year to $1.06 billion

CEO of Palantir Alex Karp leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the "Tech for Good" summit.Ludovic Marin |...

Fiat Chrysler and GM’s 3Q auto sales fall from last year, but demand improves

The Key Auto Mall car dealership in Moline, Illinois.Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesFiat Chrysler and General Motor's auto sales fell in the...

After COVID, When Can Young Athletes Resume Play?

By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter ...

GMC Hummer infotainment uses Unreal Engine, also used in video games

We're only a couple weeks away from the reveal of the GMC Hummer EV truck and SUV. And we're expecting a lot of...

Our thoughts on Monster Truck Championship and the cars of Cyberpunk 2077

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change. The video game...