Aqemia Raises €60m in Series A Funding to Advance AI-Driven Drug Discovery

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Topics: Biotech Companies   
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Aqemia, a Paris-based biotech startup, raised an additional €30 million in a Series A funding extension, totaling €60 million in equity for this round. This financial milestone will fuel the company's innovative approach to drug discovery, leveraging generative artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum-inspired algorithms to expedite the development of new drug molecules.

The company's funding journey began with an initial €30 million raised in 2022, led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance, with Elaia also participating. Wendel Growth boosted the latest funding extension, with continued investment from Aqemia's initial backers. This financial backing underscores the potential of Aqemia's technology to transform the drug discovery process, which is traditionally a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.

Aqemia's proprietary technology aims to accelerate the identification and design of molecular candidates for drug development. By integrating generative AI with quantum-inspired algorithms, Aqemia can rapidly generate and evaluate millions of potential drug molecules. This approach can significantly shorten the timeline from discovery to preclinical testing, a process that traditionally spans several years.

The startup is not only focusing on the technological aspects of drug discovery but is also committed to developing its own pipeline of drug candidates. Currently, Aqemia has three cancer-targeting drug candidates in preclinical testing stages, achieved in less than two years. This marks a significant acceleration compared to the industry average of five to six years for discovery and preclinical phases.

Aqemia's AI model is trained on the physical laws that govern molecular structures in nature, enabling it to "invent" potential drug molecules. The quantum-inspired algorithms then simulate the behavior of these molecules, identifying those with the most promise for further development. This iterative process enhances the efficiency and specificity of the drug candidates produced.

The company's recent partnership with pharmaceutical giants, including a $140 million agreement with Sanofi and a collaboration with Servier, highlight the industry's growing interest in AI's potential to streamline drug discovery. These partnerships focus on identifying molecules for diseases of interest, demonstrating the applicability of Aqemia's technology across various therapeutic areas.

READ MORE: 12 Companies Using Quantum Theory To Accelerate Drug Discovery (Updated)

With the new funding, Aqemia plans to expand its team and accelerate the development of its proprietary drugs, focusing on immunology, inflammation, and central nervous system disorders. The anticipated clinical trials in 2025 will be a crucial test for the company's technology, aiming to demonstrate the efficacy and efficiency of AI-designed drug candidates.

Topics: Biotech Companies   

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