Insilico Medicine gets $255m boost for AI-powered R&D

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Insilico closes $255 million to progress into human clinical trials and develop novel targets and also announces Teva Pharm collaboration.

Insilico Medicine, a company driving end-to-end AI for target discovery, small molecule chemistry and clinical development, has announced that it has closed $255 million from biotechnology experts to progress Insilico Medicine’s current therapeutic programmes into human clinical trials, initiate multiple new programmes for novel and difficult targets and further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities.

The Series C financing was led by Warburg Pincus, with current investors including Qiming Venture Partners, Pavilion Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners, Formic Ventures and Baidu Ventures also participating. New investors include CPE, OrbiMed, Mirae Asset Capital, B Capital Group, Deerfield Management, Maison Capital, Lake Bleu Capital, President International Development Corporation, Sequoia Capital China and Sage Partners. Min Feng Ren, Managing Director at Warburg Pincus, will join Insilico Medicine’s Board of Directors.

Longevity.Technology: Insilico integrates two business models: providing AI-powered drug discovery services and software through its Pharma.AI platform and developing its own pipeline of preclinical programmes. In fact, the company currently has over 16 therapeutic programmes under the eye of Dr Feng Ren who joined Insilico as Chief Science Officer in February, as well as several partnerships on the go. This current round was five times oversubscribed, a testament to confidence both in Insilico and the longevity sector. By choosing big-name investors, Insilico can continue to support and develop its therapeutic programmes, as well as generating the research headlines we have come to expect.

Insilico has also announced that it entered into a collaboration with Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D, Inc, part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, to use Insilico’s generative machine learning technology and proprietary PandaOmics Drug Discovery Platform, which aims to identify novel therapeutic targets implicated in a variety of diseases.

Insilico Medicine has built a strong drug discovery and drug development team, a broad distributed discovery partner network and initiated multiple internal therapeutic programmes. As well has publishing a range of papers on generative chemistry, the company has also achieved multiple milestones with the pharmaceutical industry partners. The company demonstrated the first case of AI identifying a novel target for a major pulmonary disease, generating novel molecules for that novel target, and completing the preclinical experiments required to nominate a preclinical candidate in under 18 months. Insilico Medicine also developed the AI-powered drug discovery platform consisting of PandaOmics AI-powered novel target discovery engine, Chemistry42 deep generative reinforcement learning system allowing for de-novo design of novel molecules with the desired properties that do not exist in the known chemical space, and InClinico, which predicts clinical trial outcomes.

Insilico
Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO, Insilico Medicine and Dr Feng Ren CSO, Insilico Medicine.

Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine said: “The artificial intelligence technologies we invented are now demonstrating impressive results in both biology and chemistry, delivering valuable and absolutely novel therapeutic assets with high probability of clinical success. We are pleased and proud to have gained the recognition and investment from some of the world’s most reputable investors with strong expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry. With their support, we will continue to innovate and bring revolutionary solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.”

Insilico Medicine is making its technologies available for licensing for the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies looking to gain a head start in AI and accelerate their drug discovery programmes. It has collaborated with first-in-class biopharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Astellas, Johnson & Johnson, Taisho, and others. Insilico Medicine also partnered with the main innovative sustainable agriculture company, Syngenta, on the discovery of novel molecules for sustainable regenerative farming. Since the launch of Chemistry42 in September 2020, 7 out of the top 30 pharmaceutical companies deployed its software, including Merck KGaA and UCB. Insilico Medicine also built a drug discovery team and platform in China and started multiple therapeutic programmes targeting novel, difficult, and previously undruggable targets.

Fred Hassan, former Chairman and CEO of Schering Plough Corporation, commented on behalf of Warburg Pincus: “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is a powerful tool to revolutionize the drug discovery process and bring life-changing therapies to patients faster than ever before. We are pleased to partner with Insilico, which has demonstrated strong value proof of its AI technologies both through partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies and the development of exciting internal pipeline. Insilico fits strongly with our strategy of investing in the best-in-class innovators in the healthcare and we will continue to support the company’s ambitious vision of transforming drug discovery through harnessing AI and Machine Learning.”

Find out more about Insilico and its research at ARDD (31/08/21 – 03/09/21), where leaders in the aging and longevity field will describe the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of aging and the search for interventions. Longevity.Technology is proud to be a media partner for this event – we’ll see you there!

Images courtesy of Insilico Medicine
Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.

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