Eni’s HPC5 supercomputer, the most powerful of its kind in the world for industrial use, is leading the fight against Covid-19 after running a massive computation test aimed at identifying new treatments for the disease.

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The computer, housed in Eni’s Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone in Italy, ran the most complex modular computation ever conducted in the world on 20 November.

The simulation tested over 70 billion molecules on 15 virus-active sites, processing a thousand billion interactions in less than 60 hours — more than 5 million simulations per second.

Eni unveiled the new supercomputer in February, a machine that supports the previous system (HPC4) by tripling computing power from 18 to 52 petaflops of power, which means it can carry out 52 million billion mathematical calculations per second.

In early April, the Italian major revealed it had made the HPC5 supercomputer and its molecular modelling skills available as part of the European EXSCALATE4CoV project, which is aimed at identifying drugs to combat the coronavirus.

The EXSCALATE4CoV project is led by Italian biopharmaceutical company Dompe and brings together institutions and research centres in Italy and other European countries to identify “the safest and most promising drugs in the fight against Covid-19”, Eni previously said.

Eni’s supercomputer was originally designed to accelerate the company’s transformation in the energy transition and with the development of new energy sources.