Genesis Therapeutics secures funding from a16z and others to move AI-discovered drug candidates into the clinic.
Artificial intelligence-powered drug discovery company Genesis Therapeutics has raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. The company leverages AI to identify new high-value and previously unexplored therapeutic targets, often previously deemed “undruggable.”
Genesis, which has already inked collaborations with pharma industry giants Genentech and Eli Lilly, says the new funding will propel some of the company’s AI-generated drug candidates into clinical development. While there is currently little information regarding specific targets or disease indications being targeted by Genesis, the company says the new financing will also facilitate an ambitious expansion of its pipeline.
The funding round, which brings the total raised by the Genesis to more than $280 million, was led by an unnamed US-based life-sciences-focused investor, alongside returning investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health. New investors in the round include Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, and NVIDIA’s venture capital arm NVentures.
Vijay Pande, founding general partner at a16z Bio + Health, co-invented some of the foundational deep learning technologies leveraged by Genesis when he was a professor at Stanford.
“Genesis has uniquely integrated deep learning and simulations since inception, and the ability of their GEMS AI platform to address previously undruggable targets is a testament to Genesis’ leadership in molecular generative AI,” said Pande. “Blending technology and biomedicine has untapped potential, and it’s an exciting time to be at the nexus of these two powerful forces. Each new advance Genesis makes with their field-leading AI platform not only pushes technological boundaries but also brings hope to countless individuals awaiting medical breakthroughs.”
GEMS AI drug discovery platform
Genesis has developed a physics-based AI platform, known as the Genesis Exploration of Molecular Space (GEMS), which utilizes cutting-edge generative and predictive AI techniques to accelerate the discovery and optimization of small molecule drugs.
The GEMS platform assesses the 3D structure and interactions of protein-ligand complexes as spatial graphs, allowing it to make accurate predictions based on 3D structures alone. GEMS also includes a molecular simulation element, which allows it to learn 3D binding dynamics, and a molecular generation engine that can be used to create novel molecules and explore specific regions of chemical space for each drug program.
“AI presents a potent opportunity to revolutionize the drug discovery process, which frequently struggles to produce viable drug candidates against targets that are biologically well-validated but considered undruggable due to highly challenging chemistry,” said Evan Feinberg, CEO of Genesis. “This funding comes as Genesis is approaching an inflection point with the first of our AI-enabled drug candidates entering the clinic. The addition of our new lead investor, and other meaningful additions to our biotech and AI-oriented syndicate, will support Genesis in developing breakthrough therapies for patients with severe unmet medical needs, and their families, capitalizing on the broad applicability and potential of the GEMS AI platform.”