Aqemia, a Parisian deep tech startup, has raised €1 million pre-seed round from Elaia to develop its molecule matching technology. The company aims to transform pharmaceutical research and disrupt the $60 billion drug discovery market.

Aqemia’s core software, developed from academic research at École normale supérieure (PSL), can predict the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical drug. It does so by predicting first the affinity between a “pharmaceutical target” and a molecule.

Aqemia can complete this task in minutes, while other software methods on the market require up to a week. Speedy prediction is key, since identifying the best drug candidates for a given target requires sifting through millions of compounds.

“Aqemia’s technology to predict affinity between drug candidates and therapeutic targets has the clear potential to change the drug discovery paradigm and to thus have a major impact on the success rate of the entire drug development process,” said Sacha Loiseau, Ph.D., partner at Elaia. “This is in strong adequation with Elaia’s strategy for the PSL Innovation Fund to invest in early-stage companies with disruptive technologies. We’re excited to be the first investor backing Aqemia and look forward to what lies ahead.”

Commenting on the investment, Aqemia CEO Maximilien Levesque, Ph.D. said: “We’re very excited to close this first financing round led by Elaia. It supports our ambitious objective of spinning off the academic lab, recruiting a world-class team to build upon Aqemia’s deeptech asset, and above all proving our value: hunting molecules for the pharmaceutical industry with unprecedented accuracy and speed.”

With its first financing round, the company is looking to recruit the first members of its team. Specifically Levesque and COO Emmanuelle Martiano want to hire in silico drug hunters, software developer, and experts in generative artificial intelligence.

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