Kuano raises closes £1.8M harnessing quantum mechanics and AI for drug design

Kuano's quantum simulation platform ushers in a new era in drug discovery.
Kuano raises closes £1.8M harnessing quantum mechanics and AI for drug design

Today drug discovery company Kuano, announced the close of a £1.8 million seed funding round.

The company combines quantum mechanics with AI to design the next generation of medicines, focusing on seeing and modelling enzymes.

Dysfunctional enzymes are implicated in many human diseases. 

However, until now, scientists have only been able to view enzymes in their ‘resting’ state, not fully functioning ‘dynamic’ states. 

As different enzymes may appear very similar in a resting state, drugs designed to target one may also affect others, potentially impacting drug safety and efficacy.

Kuano’s quantum simulation platform enables scientists to see and model enzymes in their dynamic state, opening new possibilities for more effective drug design. 

Combining these unique enzyme profiles with its suite of AI tools, Kuano predicts the best structures with which to target them. Drug candidates designed this way are more likely to be more potent with fewer side effects. The platform is validated in three separate disease areas, including bowel cancer and lymphoma.

Kuano was co-founded in 2020 by Drs. Vid Stojevic, an expert in quantum physics and AI; David Wright, who specialises in molecular modelling and simulation, Parminder Ruprah, a highly experienced ‘drug hunter’; and Jarryl D’Oyley, an expert computational medicinal chemist.

Vid Stojevic, Co-founder and CEO, Kuano, said:

“Our platform creates a ‘quantum lens’ that reveals the difference between enzymes and allows us to target each one individually without affecting the others. 

This funding round will not only allow us to continue our laboratory work, but also to strengthen our management team and prepare the Company for scaling.”

Mercia Ventures led the round, which included ACF Investors, Ascension Ventures, o2h Ventures, Meltwind Advisory LLP, and other Angel investors.
Robert Hornby from Mercia, shared:

“Fewer than 20% of enzymes have so far been targeted by drugs because of the difficulty in understanding their dynamic states.

Kuano’s quantum simulation platform goes beyond existing AI models and means they can design drugs for previously ‘undruggable’ enzymes. 

The Company addresses a huge untapped market and has already attracted the attention of leading pharmaceutical companies. This investment will enable it to move to the next stage.”

The investment will facilitate further validation of Kuano’s quantum simulation platform for the design of more effective drug candidates targeting enzymes and continued company growth through strategic partnerships and recruitment.

Lead image: Martin Lopez

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