Jerusalem-based AI drug design firm Pepticom raises $2.6 million to focus on COVID-19 treatments via PeptiCov

dan@tech.eu

Realising that we’re all going to be living side by side with the SARS-Cov-2 virus for the next foreseeable future, Israeli AI powered drug design and discovery company Pepticom has raised $2.6 million to spin out PeptiCov.

The investment is powered by previous investor The Chartered Group.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 and the various viral mutations will likely be with us for a long time and thus effective treatment is key,” says Pepticom founder and CEO Immanuel Lerner.

Using their own flavour of artificial intelligence technology, Pepticom significantly streamlines the time required to discover peptide-based drugs by sorting through a massive database of possible solutions. In addition to finding suitable matches and non-matches, the algorithm reduces the risk of failure during development. A.k.a. Time is money.

Pepticom’s tech is able to cover a chemical space of 1,030 possible molecular options, a figure larger than current screening techniques, and seeks out possible candidates based on solubility and permeability factors, as well as undisclosed, “others”.

Putting it to the test, Pepticom found several protein targets that are related to the SARS-Cov-2 virus and from these results, designed several potential peptide drug candidates which were then lab validated. From these results, the foundations of PeptiCov were born.

“We made this investment out of our belief in Pepticom’s application of AI via PeptiCov for SARS-Cov-2 drug discovery and early development,” comments Eyal Agmoni, Chairman of Chartered Group and Technology division. “Pepticom’s unique AI platform allows for various drug discovery efforts, and we are excited to join this spinoff company.”

While there’s no single indicator for who’s leading the charge in getting us all back to some sense of normality, just looking at the data, I’m going put my money on the Israelis.

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