Sanofi offers up to $140M in new collaboration with Aqemia

Parisian startup Aqemia uses quantum-inspired physics and AI for drug discovery. Their unique approach allows for faster predictions of drug effectiveness, attracting a $140 million collaboration with Sanofi.
Sanofi offers up to $140M in new collaboration with Aqemia

Aqemia, a Parisian deeptech startup that applies quantum-inspired physics and generative AI to the field of drug discovery has announced a collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Sanofi valued at up to $140 million.

Applying AI to the field of drug discovery is by no means unique to Aqemia, however, where the company stands apart from other platforms is in its usage of physics-based calculations that can be used in lieu of technologies that require chemical experimental data to train on before the design phase of a drug can commence.

Aqemia’s core software, developed from academic research at École normale supérieure (PSL), can predict the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical drug, according to the startup, in a matter of minutes.

While not the first collaboration between Aqemia and Sanofi, previous projects have focused on oncology, whereas this newly-inked deal appears to expand efforts to include additional areas of focus.

Sanofi Vice President of Research and Development Jacques Volckmann shared:

“This new partnership with Aqemia is part of an ongoing story that began with our French teams three years ago. 

During this period, we have followed with attention and enthusiasm the development of their technology that combines theoretical physics and generative AI. We have been able to concretely assess the interest in some of our research projects during our previous collaborations.”

As part of the deal, Aqemia’s $140 million payout is dependent upon achieving the successful completion of several R&D milestones, with Sanofi securing exclusive rights to wet lab research, development, and commercialisation activities.

Aqemia is backed by Eurazeo, Bpifrance, and Elaia.

Lead image: Aqemia founders - COO Emmanuelle Martiano and CEO Maximilien Levesque (left to right). Photo: Julien Lutt.

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