12 Notable AI-powered Biotech Companies Founded in 2021

by Dana Sokolova    Contributor        Biopharma insight

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Ever since the early 2000s, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a useful tool in various fields, from game design and speech recognition to powering driving cars and military applications. No wonder that big pharma companies are striving to keep up with technological progress and implementing AI in their internal R&D and business workflows.

 

Pharmaceutical giants are actively recruiting machine learning and AI experts: for instance, from January 2020 to June 2021 AstraZeneca had 676 job vacancies for AI tech specialists, being followed by Johnson & Johnson and Takeda Pharmaceuticals with 616 and 545 positions respectively. Another source of technological and artificial intelligence expertise comes from external vendors by collaborating with AI-powered startups and more established companies. The cumulative number of such collaborations has increased significantly over the 2016-2022 timeframe, from 29 to 314, and continues to grow. For instance, in January 2023 BioNTech announced its acquisition of InstaDeep, a leading global technology company specializing in AI and machine learning, in a deal worth approximately £362 million in cash and BioNTech shares.

Below is a chart illustrating the increasing number of R&D collaborations involving "big pharma" and AI-driven drug discovery companies (mostly startups and scaleups) from  2012 until 2022.

Major industry collaborations, involving AI-driven startups and big pharma players

 

The world of AI-driven startups in biotech is rapidly evolving, according to "The Landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Pharmaceutical R&D" the number of AI-driven companies in drug discovery and development increased from 62 in 2011 to 400 firms in 2022. Some companies in this list offer AI-driven computational tools and services for the key stages of a drug discovery pipeline — from finding consumables and reagents for chemical synthesis to clinical development and biomarker discovery. Others are building internal drug discovery pipelines using advanced AI-driven drug design platforms.

In this post we have summarized an alphabetically-ordered list of 9 biotech companies that were founded in 2021-2023 and are developing innovative AI-powered solutions either for internal use or as a part of service offering to clients.

 

Arrepath

ArrePath is a dedicated company that has a clear mission of combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by discovering new and unique classes of anti-infectives. Through the application of advanced imaging and AI/ML technologies, ArrePath aims to identify and develop novel drugs efficiently. Their drug discovery platform, driven by machine learning (ML) and imaging, enables the rapid identification of new drug classes with desired activity profiles and clinical utility. A significant focus of ArrePath's work is to gain a deep understanding of the mechanism of action at the early stages of the discovery process.

According to recent analysis from The Lancet and The GRAM Report, drug-resistant infections lead to a minimum of 1.27 million deaths each year. To address this global health challenge, ArrePath leverages a novel technology platform that decodes the complex behavior of bacteria when exposed to new chemical entities, a process known as 'bacterial autopsies.' This enables the efficient elucidation of biological mechanisms of action. With their proprietary machine learning and imaging technologies, ArrePath's platform empowers them to identify, optimize, and rapidly develop new classes of anti-infectives with distinct mechanisms of action compared to existing drugs.

In 2022 ArrePath secured a $20 million seed financing round. This investment will fuel the advancement of their machine learning-based platform for the discovery of novel anti-infectives, specifically targeting antimicrobial resistance.

 

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Topics: Biotech Companies   

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