New Capital Will Advance Biopharma Company’s AI-Powered Programs Across Disease Areas
Vancouver, BC – November 17, 2021 – Variational AI, developer of state-of-the-art generative AI technology to redefine the economics of drug development by accelerating the discovery of novel and optimized small molecules, today announced that it has raised $US3.5 million ($CDN4.3 million) in seed funding. The investment round was led by Flying Fish Ventures, Alliance of Angels and A&E Investments, with participation from Lip-Bu Tan and Amarjit Gill, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors and advisors.
Variational AI’s Enki algorithm learns from a training set of molecules screened against drug targets from both experimental and computational sources and then generates novel molecular structures with multiple pre-defined parameters/properties optimized to avoid common causes of drug attrition. This optimization is performed in parallel and can deliver results in months versus years and requires significantly less data than competing AI offerings.
“The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of accelerating drug discovery and reducing the cost and risk to developing therapeutics,” said Frank Chang managing partner, Flying Fish. “We are thrilled to invest in Variational AI’s machine learning approach to discovering new molecules, which has the potential to dramatically impact the biopharma industry.”
The seed funding will enable Variational AI to accelerate existing discovery programs for COVID-19, cancer and other disease areas. The company will also utilize the new capital to hire additional leaders in medicinal chemistry, cheminformatics, and machine learning, and recruit a Scientific Advisory Board.
“The Variational AI team is excited to welcome our investors in sharing our vision for redefining the economics of drug development,” said Handol Kim, co-founder and CEO, Variational AI. “We look forward to accelerating our current programs and identifying new drug targets that Enki is uniquely suited to tackle to rapidly address unmet medical needs.”
About Variational AI
Variational AI uses state-of-the-art machine learning in a data-efficient method to rapidly generate novel and diverse compounds that are optimized for multiple properties to avoid the most common causes of drug attrition and increase clinical probability of success. Variational AI works with leading biopharmaceutical partners and is developing its own internal pipeline. To learn more, visit https://variational.ai.
Sage Morander and Jordan Bouclin