Vivodyne lands $38m to predict drug effects using lab-grown organs

Khosla leads funding round for AI platform that enables generation of predictive human data before therapies enter clinical trials.

US biotech company Vivodyne has secured a whopping $38 million seed financing to advance its AI powered predictive drug development platform, which revolves around testing drugs on lab-grown human organs to enhance efficacy. The company claims to be able to provide realistic, scalable and reproducible human-predictive preclinical data within weeks rather than months.

Founded by University of Pennsylvania bioengineers Andrei Georgescu and Dan Huh, Vivodyne uses robots to grow and experiment on lab-grown 3D human organs at scale. The datasets generated by this process provide the basis for the company’s predictive AI platform, which is designed to capture the efficacy of new therapies and predict patient outcomes.

Vivodyne says it has developed more than 20 human organ models capable of mimicking native human functions and phenotypes. These models enable the accurate assessment of new therapies and the prediction of patient outcomes. By leveraging robotic automation, the company says its platform can cultivate, dose, and image over 8,000 individual tissues simultaneously – in comparison to the 20 to 40 living tissue samples typically managed manually.

Vivodyne Announces $38 Million Seed Financing
Vivodyne’s lab-grown bone marrow tissue.

The 3D human tissues created by Vivodyne replicate the cellular, tissue, organ, and systemic organization and function of native human tissues. Each model contains 200,000 to 500,000 cells, complete with fully perfusable blood vessel networks. This approach allows Vivodyne to design and enhance various drug modalities, ranging from small molecules to biologics like antibodies, mRNA-bearing lipid nanoparticles, and cell therapies.

“By combining the principles of organoids and organs-on-chips, we’ve created a new class of self-organizing, functional lab-grown human organ tissues at a time,” said Georgescu, CEO of Vivodyne. “Our ability to generate AI-scale human data on-demand is a major advantage, and already have a number of large pharma companies using our platform. We’re changing the way researchers and companies study human biology and develop therapeutics.”

Applications in longevity

From a longevity perspective, Georgescu told us that Vivodyne’s platform is uniquely positioned to improve our understanding of the changes in human phenotype and function that occur with age.

Vivodyne Announces $38 Million Seed Financing
Andrei Georgescu, PhD, CEO & Cofounder, Vivodyne

“Our ability to cultivate human tissues from a wide range of human demographics – including age – means that by comparing to the characteristics associated with younger patient tissues, we can map and validate the druggable therapeutic targets that increase longevity and healthy function in tissues more impacted by age,” he said. “In addition, Vivodyne’s platform provides us a basis to address age-associated diseases – particularly those like cancer, fibrosis, and vascular disease, on which we are already working in commercial partnerships – and most importantly, develop safe and effective new strategies to treat them.”

Vivodyne says its AI-driven platform has already attracted collaborations with a majority of the top 10 large pharmaceutical companies.

“Vivodyne’s platform is commercially available for partnership on new therapeutic programs and disease areas, as well as for Phase I/II partnerships to provide clinically supporting data or to rescue underperforming clinical assets,” Georgescu told us.

Khosla leads the way

The funding round was led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from Kairos Ventures, CS Ventures, MBX Ventures, and Bison VC. The investment is earmarked for furthering the development of Vivodyne’s drug discovery pipeline and enhancing its AI platform.

“By testing drugs and life-saving biologics directly on these realistic human tissues at an unprecedented scale and resolution, we can improve the success rates of therapeutics entering clinical trials,” said Alex Morgan of Khosla Ventures.

“Vivodyne’s technology bridges the gap between preclinical R&D and human clinical trials, while automating every step of the testing pipeline, from growing tissues, dosing, sampling and imaging, to analyzing data. The ability to screen and develop new potential lifesaving therapies, testing thousands at a time on functionally realistic human tissues on Vivodyne’s automated platform, is a major step forward for the pharmaceutical industry.”

“What truly sets Vivodyne apart is the seamless integration of life-like, functional lab-grown human tissues, best-in-class robotics, and a strong AI stack – which comes together with the singular focus of generating vast volumes of predictive, preclinical human data,” said Alex Andrianopoulos of Kairos Ventures. “The most important aspect is how these pieces all converge to produce huge quantities of predictive, preclinical human data that Vivodyne’s AI pipelines can harness to create better and safer drugs more quickly.”

Photographs courtesy of Vivodyne