DeepCure, developer of small molecule therapeutics using an AI-enabled drug discovery platform, raised $40 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Morningside Ventures with participation from existing investors TLV Partners, Sapir Venture Partners and Benon Group Ltd.

DeepCure said the Series A brings its total raise to $47 million.

WHAT IT DOES

The company uses its AI engine to develop small molecule drugs, which can enter cells easily due their low molecular weight. DeepCure said it is currently working on several preclinical candidates in “undruggable” classes, meaning proteins that are hard to target pharmacologically. 

“We are delighted to welcome a top-tier syndicate of leading healthcare investors led by Morningside Ventures that support our vision of developing an end-to-end drug discovery pipeline designed, optimized, synthesized and analyzed by AI,” cofounder and CEO Kfir Schreiber said in a statement.

“We have made tremendous progress since founding DeepCure a few years ago, and this financing reflects strong support for our technology platform, people, strategy, and, most importantly, our mission to accelerate the discovery of novel targets and therapies which were previously undruggable.”

WHAT IT’S FOR 

The company plans to use the influx of capital from the Series A to add five additional oncology programs and develop an automated wet lab for drug development. 

DeepCure said it also plans to hire new drug discovery scientists and technologists, and open new sites in Greece and Israel.

“This investment positions us to advance our first novel small molecule compound to file for IND [investigational new drug], advance our pipeline and realize our vision of making a significant impact for patients,” Joseph Jacobson, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and cofounder of DeepCure, said in a statement.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Last week, Google parent company Alphabet launched a new company called Isomorphic Laboratories that would focus on AI-enabled drug discovery, building off research from another Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind. 

Valo Health, another company that uses AI for drug discovery, announced plans to go public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in June. In March, the company scored $300 million in Series B financing.

In April, Silicon Valley giant NVIDIA partnered with pharma company AstraZeneca and the University of Florida on artificial intelligence projects, including a new drug-discovery model called MegaMoIBART.

AI drug discovery startup insitro raised $400 million in Series C funding earlier this year, less than a year after it closed a $200 million Series B round



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