Venture Capital: Generate Biomedicines, Which Uses Machine Learning To Invent New Drugs, Raises $370M

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Generate Biomedicines is backed by Flagship Pioneering, the investor behind Moderna.

Generate Biomedicines, which uses its machine learning powered Generative Biology platform to make novel proteins with specific therapeutic functions, and thereby invent new drugs at never-before speeds, has raised a $370 million Series B. Investors in the round, which marked Generate’s first outside financing, included founder, Flagship Pioneering, along with several institutional co-investors: a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Morningside Ventures, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (Boston Globe)

Generate, founded in 2018, previously saw an initial investment of $50 million from Flagship in 2020 on emerging from stealth mode.

It currently has about 80 employees, but is expecting to add more than 400 in the next couple of years. It has under construction two state-of-the-art facilities that will significantly expand the company’s computational biology, machine learning, data generation, and wet lab capabilities.

Drug development – fundamental shift

Generative says it is following a fundamentally different approach to drug development. Rather than legacy trial-and-error methods that depend on what’s taking place in the lab, Generative is using machine learning to enter an era of programmable drug engineering – its horizons are no longer restricted to the existing proteins found in nature – instead the firm can generate entirely novel, de novo proteins that are purpose-built to address an existing or emerging therapeutic need.

“In the future, therapeutic proteins will be generated, rather than discovered,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Board Member of Generate, and General Partner at Flagship Pioneering. ​“Given the vast number of proteins that could exist, current approaches to protein therapeutic discovery can only tap into a minute subset of possible proteins.

“Our Generative Biology platform gives us the ability to generate de novo, antibodies, peptides, enzymes, cytokines, and other undiscoverable protein therapeutics with optimized functions. This represents a remarkable leap forward in the field of protein therapeutics.”

Related Story: AI Solves 50-Year-Old Biology Mystery; Medical Breakthroughs Could Follow

Image credit: Generate

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