New financing will enable Atomwise to further scale the largest artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery portfolio in history and expand $5 billion+ deal pipeline for small molecule drug discovery
SAN FRANCISCO — August 11, 2020 — Atomwise, the company deciphering human disease via the largest AI-drug discovery portfolio, announced today that it has closed $123 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing led by B Capital Group and Sanabil Investments. The funding round includes returning investors DCVC, BV, Tencent, Y Combinator, Dolby Family Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, as well as new backing from two top ten global insurance companies. This brings the total amount of capital raised to date to almost $175 million. The company has appointed Raj Ganguly of B Capital Group as a new board member and Hani Enaya of Sanabil as a board observer.
“Over the past three years, our platform AtomNet® has tackled — and succeeded — in finding small molecule hits for more undruggable targets than any other AI drug discovery platform,” said Abraham Heifets, CEO and co-founder of Atomwise. “With support from our new and existing investment partners, we will be able to leverage this to develop our own pipeline of small molecule drug programs, further grow our portfolio of joint-venture investments, and realize our vision to create better medicines that can improve the lives of billions of people.”
With the new investment, Atomwise will continue to scale its AI technology platform and team. The company plans to expand its work with corporate partners, which currently include major players in the biopharma space such as Eli Lilly and Company, Bayer, Hansoh Pharmaceuticals, and Bridge Biotherapeutics, as well as emerging biotechnology companies like StemoniX and SEngine Precision Medicine. Atomwise has signed more than $5.5 billion in total deal value with corporate partners to date.
The company will also leverage the financing to build its own internal pipeline tackling historically undruggable and other challenging disease targets. Atomwise will continue to grow its portfolio of joint ventures with leading researchers using AtomNet® for drug discovery, like those it has launched with X-37, Atropos Therapeutics, Theia Biosciences and vAIrus, with a goal to commercialize high potential candidates through the drug development process.
Atomwise created the first convolutional neural networks (CNN) for drug discovery, and since its founding in 2012 has continually developed and improved its AI-based drug discovery technology. The company’s AI technology has been used by academic researchers at institutes around the world and drug developers — including top-100 pharmaceutical and emerging biotechnology companies, a rapidly growing market estimated to reach $729B in global market value by 2025. Researchers and companies struggle with access to AI-based drug discovery technology, due to overall cost and lack of expertise — something which requires computational scientists, drug discovery experts, software and systems engineers for AI and ML. To date, Atomwise has provided AI technology to over 750 research collaborations addressing over 600 disease targets, and worked with top-pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners, to design new drugs for “undruggable” targets with speed and scale.
Through these academic collaborations, Atomwise has enriched its AtomNet® technology with experimental data and conducted the largest screening of molecules in human history — today at over 16 billion molecules for virtual screening. From the continued use of AtomNet® among research teams, Atomwise has gained a valuable breadth of experimental data, including the largest diversity of drug target sites, homology models, protein classes, and disease areas of any AI platform. The company’s technology is covered by 19 issued patents, and research partnerships have generated 17 pending patent applications and several peer-reviewed publications. Atomwise has 285 active drug discovery partnerships with researchers at top universities around the world, and recently announced 15 research collaborations with global universities to explore broad-spectrum therapies for COVID-19, targeting 15 unique and novel mechanisms of action.
“New technologies are enabling better and faster R&D for the life science industry,” said Raj Ganguly, co-Founder and Managing Partner at B Capital Group. “The advancements Atomwise has made with its computational drug discovery platform have effectively cut months or even years off of the R&D lifecycle. More importantly, however, they are solving biology problems previously believed to be unsolvable by researchers and delivering that capability to everyone from academics to big pharma. We’re excited to continue to partner with the Atomwise team on its mission to develop new, more effective therapies.”
A spokesperson for Sanabil Investments added, “We chose to lead this B round as Atomwise has shown clear leadership in developing better medicines for the world, and has become the number one global leader in applying and scaling its AI platform for drug discovery programs. Even more important is the prominence and strategic reputation of the new and returning investors, and their expertise in AI, drug discovery and pharma. They all believe, like we do, that Atomwise will use the funding to strengthen and develop their strategic advantages where it counts.”