The drug developer for clinical stage Insilico Medicine, which is under Sinovation Ventures and powered by end-to-end AI, secured its D2 funding round on August 10. This round is led by Prosperity 7, a diversified VC fund under Aramco Ventures which is the investment arm of Saudi Aramco, a global leader in integrated energy and chemicals.
With this round, Insilico Medicine has raised a cumulative US$95 million in Series D funding from a wide range of global investors specializing in biopharmaceuticals and life sciences.
In his congratulations on Insilico Medicine’s investment partnership with Prosperity7 Venture, Richard YANG, partner at Sinovation Ventures mentioned that their partnership marked the further expansion of Insilico Medicine's international footprint and demonstrated the on-going interest and support for AI pharmaceuticals from all regions of the world. As biotechnology burgeons in the 21st century, we look forward to Insilico Medicine joining hands with various parties to build a community of intelligent biology and chemistry and to make itself a pioneer in this era.
In addition to the new investor Prosperity7, the investment also came from the existing investors in the Series D round including: a large diversified asset management firm on the West Coast, Boston Capital, Warburg Pincus, Bohai Huamei (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund, Venus Ventures, Deerfield, Lanting Capital, BOLD Capital Partners, and WS Investment Company. Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, also made a contribution.
The newly raised Series D funds will further propel Insilico Medicine to develop its proprietary pipeline, including a first-in-class program in Phase-1 clinical trials synchronously underway in New Zealand and China, as well as several IND-Enabling pipelines in development. The funds will also be used to further develop its end-to-end AI drug research platform, Pharma.AI; sustain the construction of a fully automated, intelligent robotic drug lab and robotic biodata factory; and support Insilico Medicine to develop its regional centers around the world.
“In 2022, Aramco became the world’s most valuable company and we are deeply honored to receive investment from its venture capital arm, Prosperity7, which focuses on ‘disruptive technology’ investing,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. “After spending time in Saudi Arabia, it is clear that the country is taking a giant technological leap. We would love to be part of this effort and help the country make its vision a reality using the latest advances in artificial intelligence.”
Left: Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine；Right: REN Feng, PhD, co-CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Insilico Medicine
Through a unique dual-CEO structure, Insilico Medicine is advancing its AI capabilities and drug research and development simultaneously. The company recently promoted Dr. Ren Feng, Insilico’s chief scientific officer (CSO), to the role 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 play a leadership role in driving commercial development. During his tenure, the company has rapidly transformed its portfolio into a strong pipeline of innovative new drug candidates, targeting areas with highly unmet need.
Seven programs in their internal processing have progressed to IND enabling studies, which include a new 3CL protease inhibitor for the treatment of COVID-19 and two targeted synthetic lethality programs MAT2A and USP1 for oncological indications. The company also successfully completed a Phase-0 microdose study in Australia and entered Phase-I clinical trials with its first in-house developed program targeting fibrosis in both New Zealand and China.
“We have the structure to be equal parts drug development and artificial intelligence company,” said REN Feng, PhD, co-CEO and CSO of Insilico Medicine. “We also have a number of exciting initiatives underway, including an expanding global footprint, a developing robotics lab, and significant progress on our internal project schedules. With this latest round of funding, we will be able to expand 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 joint development and software licensing agreements with several major pharmaceutical companies. Since the launch of its PandaOmics™ and Chemistry42™ platforms in late 2020, nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platforms. In 2022, Insilico signed multi-asset partnerships with Fosun Pharma and EQRx in January and March, respectively. In particular, Insilico achieved its first major milestone and Nominated Preclinical Candidate for QPCTL Cancer Immunotherapy Program less than 40 days after the strategic collaboration with Fosun Pharma. Business development continues to be a vital part of the company’s strategy to demonstrate and unlock the value of its Pharma.AI platform.