By January 2021, from more than 54 billion molecules screened by 130 teams globally, 1000 of the most promising compounds will be synthetized, an immense and quasi unprecedented endeavor.

As of December 20,   220 of 1000 compounds were already synthesized.


Top scoring compounds will be analyzed experimentally using direct affinity  assays, as well as viral assays, on live SARS-CoV-2.

For media or scientific enquiries :


An estimated 54 billion molecules were screened by 130 teams representing more than 500 scientists globally coming from some of the best institutions in the world.

As of February 20,   878 of the most promising of these compounds were synthesized, compounds that didn't exist in any molecular library in the world. An immense and quasi unprecedented endeavor.


These top scoring compounds will be analyzed experimentally using direct affinity  assays, as well as viral assays, on live SARS-CoV-2, in laboratories in Germany, France and the United States.

For media or scientific enquiries:


The GrandChallenge

The JEDI Billion Molecules against Covid19 GrandChallenge launched in May 2020 seeks to ultra-fast-track the route to a therapeutic treatment, which is, with vaccines, the only exit from the current global crisis - by identifying compounds with blocking interactions on any protein target of the SARS-CoV-2 virus , and provide experimental validation.

Participants to the GrandChallenge ("Performers") are asked to scan at least 1 billion molecules through 3 different computational methods.


The GrandChallenges aims to:

  1. Model a number of active molecules at a scale never seen before, optimizing the use of High Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence (done)

  2. Determine an accurate list of active compounds cross-correlated from the results of all participating teams, leveraging the collective intelligence of the best teams in the world on this topic (done)

  3. Synthetize the 1000 most promising compounds (under  process)

  4. Enable ultra fast-track in-vitro identification of molecules with 2-log reduction in viral activity (under process)


An unprecedented number of 54 billion molecules were screened in 4 months by 130 teams from the best private and public institutions in the world, representing more than 500 scientists, with estimated 10 million computing hours used (CPUs, GPUs)

With an estimated €19.5 million saved and a reduction of the cycle-time from up to 2 years to a few months, this radically novel approach has increased the chances of finding hit compounds thanks to an innovative cross-correlation approach and the screening of molecules at a scale never seen before.

The completely new method of drug discovery developed by JEDI during this GrandChallenge addresses problems extending far beyond the Covid19 crisis, potentially opening the door to a new way to tackle worldwide pandemics with an unprecedented efficiency.  

                Sir Peter Ratcliffe, ​ 2019 Nobel Laureate in Medicine  & member of the  GrandChallenge Scientific Committee


The Scientific Committee of the JEDI Billion Molecules against Covid19 GrandChallenge is highly interdisciplinary and composed of  world-class competences in high performance computing, artificial intelligence and epidemiology.

Prof. Gregory Bowman

Director Folding@home and Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Prof. Charles L. Brooks III

Research Group Leader, Department of Chemistry and Biophysics Program, University of Michigan
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Prof. John Chodera

Research Group Leader at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Member of the project for simulating protein dynamics Folding@home

Prof. Babak Falsafi

Computer architecture, founder and director of the consortium EcoCloud,  Professor in Computer Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
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Prof. Bryan Ford

Associate Professor and Head of the Decentralized and Distributed Lab of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Prof. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre

Director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Mount Sinai

Dr. Marion Guillou

Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) and former chairwoman of Ecole Polytechnique

Günter Klambauer

LIT AI Lab & Institute for Machine Learning, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Prof. Marion Koopmans

Member of the advisory panel on COVID-19 of the European Commission, Director of a WHO collaborating center, and Head of the department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center

Prof. Sang-Yup Lee

Director of the Bioinformatics Research Center, Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology
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Dr. Nadia Naffakh

Head of the RNA Biology of Influenza Viruses Unit, Institut Pasteur-CNRS

Sir Peter Ratcliffe

Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute and Nobel Laureate 2019 in Physiology or Medicine

Dr. Stephane Requena

Innovation and Technology Director, French HPC network GENCI

Prof. Bernhard Schoelkopf

Head of Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Prof. Fabian Theis

Head of the Institute of Computational Biology and Research Group Leader, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich

Prof. Alexandre Varnek

Head of the Laboratory of Cheminformatics, University of Strasbourg

Dr. Daniel Verwaerde

Current CEO of Teratec and former CEO of the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)


The AXA Research Fund supports projects in the areas of Health, Environment, New Tech and Socio-Economics.


A distributed computing project for simulating protein dynamics, including the process of protein folding and the movements of proteins implicated in a variety of diseases


A vibrant science and technology company that specialises in Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials.

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Coronavirus Structural Task Force



Prof. Thomas Hermans is professor in Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, group leader of the Laboratory of Nonequilibrium Complex Systems ( and co-founder of Qfluidics. 


He received the ERC Starting Grant 2017, Thieme Chemistry Award 2018, Prix Guy Ourisson 2018, and is a Young Scientist at World Economic Forum and the World Laureates Association.