New York, Aug. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HIGHLIGHTS:
Insilico Medicine announces a closing of its Series D2 round, bringing the total Series D financing to $95 million, despite an uncertain market
The Series D2 round is led by Prosperity7, the diversified growth fund of Aramco Ventures, which is an investment subsidiary of Aramco, the world's leading integrated energy and chemicals company
Relying on Prosperity7's global network and generous res, Insilico will expand its AI capabilities from drug R&D to multiple areas to support sustainable development
Insilico Medicine, a clinical–stage end–to–end artificial intelligence (AI)–driven drug discovery company, announced today that it has completed a second closing of its Series D round, led by Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth fund of Aramco Ventures, bringing the total Series D financing to $95 million. Other global investors with expertise in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences sectors also participated.
The financing brought in Prosperity7 as a new investor, alongside current investors in the Series D round, including a large, diversified asset management firm on the US West Coast, B Capital Group, Warburg Pincus, BHR Partners, Qiming Venture Partners, Deerfield, Pavilion Capital, BOLD Capital Partners, and WS Investment Company. Insilico's founder and CEO, Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, also invested in the Series D round.
Aysar Tayeb, Executive Managing Director of Prosperity7 Ventures, said: "The deepening application of AI and machine learning for drug discovery has demonstrated a transformative positive impact on the pharmaceutical industry and we are delighted to embark on this partnership with Insilico Medicine, a frontrunner in this innovation. Backed by the breadth of Aramco's ecosystem across geographies and sectors, we look to support the company to scale up and expand its footprint globally, to drive biotechnology excellence, and to bring positive impact for greater wellbeing."
The new Series D capital will support the continued advancement of Insilico's pipeline, including its lead program which is currently in a Phase 1 study in New Zealand and in China, as well as several pipeline programs in IND–enabling studies. The proceeds will also fund other key strategic initiatives, including further development of its end–to–end Pharma.AI platform, the launch of a fully automated, AI–driven robotic drug discovery laboratory and biological data factory, and the establishment of regional centers.
The investment from Prosperity7 further diversifies the Company's investor base globally and brings a potential strategic partner with deep expertise in high–performance and environmentally friendly energy R&D. Relying on Prosperity7's global network and generous res, Insilico will expand its AI capabilities from drug R&D to multiple areas, including sustainable chemistry, green energy, and agriculture to actively support sustainable development. Insilico had already leveraged the power of its platform to accelerate innovation in sustainable agriculture in a multi–year collaboration with Syngenta which validated that the platform's capabilities in AI–enabled multiparameter optimization could create substantial value.
"In 2022, Aramco became the world's most valuable company, and we are deeply honored to receive the investment from their venture capital arm, Prosperity7, which focuses on investment in "disruptive technology'," said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. "Our experience in expanding our reach into sustainable agriculture through our collaboration with Syngenta and others demonstrated the diversity of data and methods and unprecedented scale up allows us to improve our performance. I am certain that the collaborations with Prosperity7 in the field of sustainable and environmentally friendly chemistry and clean energy solutions will further expand our artificial intelligence capabilities. In addition, after spending time in Saudi Arabia, it is clear that the country is making a giant leap in technology. We would love to be part of this effort and help the country realize its vision using the latest advances in artificial intelligence."
Through a unique dual–CEO structure, Insilico Medicine is advancing its AI capabilities and drug research and development simultaneously. Recently, the Company promoted Dr. Feng Ren, Insilico's Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) to the position of co–CEO to drive the company's drug R&D platform. In addition to overseeing drug discovery and development, Dr. Ren will also guide the Company's growing clinical development and will play a leading role in driving business development. During his tenure, the Company has rapidly transformed its pipeline into a robust portfolio of novel, innovative drug candidates, targeting areas with highly unmet needs. Seven programs in its internal pipeline have progressed to IND–enabling studies, including a novel 3CL protease inhibitor for COVID–19 treatment, and two synthetic lethality programs targeting MAT2A and USP1 for oncology indications. It also successfully completed a Phase 0 microdose study in Australia and entered Phase I clinical trials with its first internally developed program targeting fibrosis in both New Zealand and China.
"We have the structure to be as an equal parts AI and drug development company," said Feng Ren, PhD, co–CEO and CSO of Insilico Medicine. "We also have a number of exciting initiatives in motion "" including an expanding global presence, a robotics lab in development, and significant progress in our internal pipeline programs. With this latest funding round, we will be able to scale up our capabilities, advance our internal programs, develop our AI, and align with partners in the Saudi region to develop new regional technology hubs."
Insilico has co–development and software licensing deals with a number of major pharmaceutical companies. Since the launch of its PandaOmics and Chemistry42 platforms in late 2020, nine out of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, as measured by 2020 revenue, have used Insilico's AI platforms. In 2022, Insilico signed multi–asset partnerships with Fosun Pharma and EQRX in January and March, respectively. Notably, Insilico achieved its first major milestone and nominated a preclinical candidate for the QPCTL program for cancer immunotherapy less than 40 days into the strategic collaboration with Fosun Pharma. Business development continues to remain a vital part of the company's strategy to demonstrate and unlock the value of its Pharma.AI platform.
About Insilico Medicine
Insilico Medicine, a clinical stage end–to–end artificial intelligence (AI)–driven drug discovery company, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next–generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques to discover novel targets and to design novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is delivering breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases and aging–related diseases.
For more information, visit www.insilico.com
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About Prosperity7 Ventures
Prosperity7 Ventures is the diversified growth fund of Aramco Ventures, a subsidiary of Aramco, the world's leading integrated energy and chemicals company. The fund's name is derived from "Prosperity Well', the 7th oil well drilled in Saudi Arabia and the first to strike oil. Taking forward this pioneering history, we invest globally, with a long term–view, in breakthrough technologies and transformational business models that will bring prosperity and positive impact on a vast scale.
For more information, visit www.prosperity7vc.com