PolyModels Hub raises £1.1M to digitise pharmacology

Polymodels wants to optimise digitisation of pharmacological processes.
PolyModels Hub raises £1.1M to digitise pharmacology

English biotech software platform PolyModels Hub has raised £1.1 million Seed round by Marathon Venture Capital. PolyModels' thesis is that though investments in lab automation, AI, and robotics are increasing, pharma process development – all steps and protocols scientists follow to turn chemical compounds into safe commercial products – is typically characterized by archaic processes and lagging adoption of digital tools.

Pharma process and development relates to the drug’s quality control, delivering the desired result consistently across batches and providing assurance to regulatory authorities such as the FDA and EMA that the drug can be reliably produced to meet stringent standards. Still, it’s mainly driven by empirical knowledge of previously successful methods and the tacit expertise of scientists, leading to prolonged timelines for launching new products to market and sometimes even failing to pass regulatory checks, costing companies millions of dollars.

“Developing a drug remains expensive and time-consuming. Unlike other industries, product development in pharmaceuticals relies heavily on numerous experiments with minimal knowledge transfer from past products, driven by the expertise and know-how of scientists. We have witnessed first-hand the inefficiencies of traditional drug development, as well as the growing desire and business need to transform this field.

"Our vision for PolyModels Hub is to revolutionize how scientists, digital teams, and senior stakeholders collaborate to accelerate development efforts and bring breakthrough therapies to market faster than ever. With today's advanced technology, supportive business context, and favorable regulatory framework, we believe now is the perfect time to realize this vision.” said Antonio Benedetti, co-founder & CEO.

The team, which brings unique chemical and software engineering expertise, has already partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies to digitally design and run in-silico simulations for new and existing medicines. Such simulations directly impact key decisions on the quality attributes of drugs, accelerating time to market and saving millions in process development costs. Ultimately, PolyModels Hub aims to build the digital backbone for pharma process development and help scientists do research, collaborate, build, and manage their drug portfolios all in one platform.

Antonio Benedetti and Harry Christodoulou studied chemical engineering before starting a career at the intersection of pharma R&D and manufacturing at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in London. They teamed up with Antonio Yankey, a chemical engineer turned software engineer building products for hundreds of millions of users. The three of them founded PolyModels Hub mid-last year to create AI tools to model, simulate, and get access to insights across pharma process development – all inside a collaborative platform made for pharma. 

In a short time, they have also managed to build an audience of pharma researchers through the community part of their platform, where scientists can highlight and discuss the latest tools of the trade, finding and rating papers with scientific models and pharma process development best practices.

Harry Christodoulou, co-founder & Director of Modelling & Science, commented: "Modeling and simulations in the pharmaceutical industry are becoming increasingly popular, with entire teams now focusing on digitalizing their processes using advanced techniques, ranging from AI to Computational Fluid Dynamics. These digital solutions require a unique central platform where they can create tangible value for scientific and modelling projects in a systematic manner. This is why we developed PolyModels Hub." 

Alex Alexakis, investor at Marathon Venture Capital added: “The pharma industry is being revolutionised by modern technologies including AI, biotechnology, and robotics. Yet, pharma process development, which is a critical part of taking a drug product to market, is still driven by the empirical knowledge of scientists and relies on paper-based systems and manual processes. PolyModels Hub brings a rare mix of chemical and software engineering expertise to digitalise pharma process development and help pharma deliver breakthrough therapies faster to the growing and ageing population. We are excited to work together and help bring their vision forward.”

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