AI in drug discovery company Biorelate has closed a £6.5 million series A round co-led by Maven Capital Partners and YFM Equity Partners, with further funds from Manchester Tech Trust angels and Triple Point Ventures.
Now equipped with series A funding, UK-headquartered Biorelate plans to build out its commercial and technical capacity ahead of a planned foray into the US market with its software.
Maven's investment came through its alliance with the British Business Bank at the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), actioned through its venture capital trusts and the NPIF – Maven Equity Finance vehicle.
YFM Equity Partners and Triple Point also deployed VC trusts for the series A investment.
Launched in 2020, Biorelate's Galactic AI software uses natural language processing to automatically build research intelligence trees from 38.3 million biomedical sources, like academic papers.
Bioscientists can then instruct the AI to relate specific biomedical knowledge and identify the cause-and-effect of specific bioactive molecules.
Drug discovery is a major frontier for deep AI investment. In Galactic AI's case, Biorelate says the time it takes to curate academic papers which set out biomolecular relationships has been reduced to just six hours.
Reducing lead times is a major pain point in pharmaceutical science. With the help of AI, drug labs have more time to crunch other parts of their drug concept.
Today, an all-new drug therapy can take more than 10 years to deliver (mind, that timeframe isn't set in stone), and that's starting from phase 1 clinical trials, never mind earlier research carried out for pre-clinical testing.
Biorelate's platform is already used by big pharma giant AstraZeneca, Swiss pharmaceutical house Idorsia, and several "undisclosed names".
Gaven Bell, the investment director at Maven responsible for leading on the Biorelate deal, said: "Biorelate has grown significantly since we first backed the business at an early stage through NPIF Maven Equity Finance. It’s exciting to see an innovative deep tech business born in Manchester now develop globally.
"We’re absolutely delighted to continue to support the vision and ambition of and the Biorelate team, to scale and capitalise on the attractive global growth opportunities.”
Maven previously backed a £700,000 round for Biorelate in 2018, again investing from its NPIF Maven Equity Finance vehicle together with Manchester Tech Trust angels, and Catapult Ventures' Greater Manchester and Chester Life Sciences Fund.