London-based LabGenius, a biotech company using machine learning to develop new therapeutics, has secured a $15 million extension of its Series A, bringing the round’s total to $25 million. Atomico led the investment, and partner Irina Haivas will join the startup’s board. Other investors include those that participated in the first close of the round last year: Lux Capital, Obvious Ventures, Kindred Capital and Inovia Capital. The UK company’s platform, EVA, is designed to rapidly identify and test potential new drugs, which cuts down the cost and risk associated with drug development. By combining robotic automation, synthetic biology and machine learning, the team can systematically search through billions of protein designs and test those that are predicted to be high performing.
Protein therapeutics have been used to treat both life-threatening conditions like cancer and chronic diseases like diabetes, and they represent 30 percent of total pharmaceutical sales, cites the startup. Commenting on the decision to invest, Haivas said, “R&D in the industry reached a productivity bottleneck many years ago; the only way forward is through technology. LabGenius is taking on the task of applying software and engineering to biology, and doing this in an area of high complexity: proteins.”
Photo courtesy of LabGenius