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Published on : Mar 08, 2018

The commercialization of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is opening up many an exciting avenue, creating new revenue streams for a range of industries. Of special interest is its potential in accelerating drug discovery initiatives, particularly those that lead to blockbuster compounds. World over, scores of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies grapple with the problem of research funding for discovering novel compounds. With an objective to change this, Atomwise Inc., a San Francisco-based company offering AI technologies for improving drug discovery, announced on March 7, 2018 that it has secured US$45 million in Series A funding. These funds are aimed to help researchers optimize spend on discovering new compounds for medications. The AI technology has already being used by companies in the agrochemical market to expedite the development of more efficacious pesticides.

The round is led by B Capital Group, Data Collective (DCVC), and Monsanto Growth Ventures. Of note, old venture capital firms such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Khosla Ventures, and Y Combinator joined by new ones-Dolby Family Ventures, Tencent, and Baidu Ventures. With this, the total capital raised exceeds US$51 million.

AI Technologies to help Researchers in Studying Deadly Virus and Endemic Parasites

Atomwise with a number of molecular discovery programs boasts of collaborations with several pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. striking a chord with major research institutes and prominent biotech firms. The company for the first time wanted to commercialize AI technologies for drug discovery, which also underscores its prominence in this area. Drug makers in various parts of the world can leverage the Atomwise’s technologies to facilitate research on deadly viruses, various cancer types, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic disorders. Furthermore, players can use deep neural networks for accelerating research on life-threatening bacteria and endemic parasites.

Drug Makers can Evaluate Potential and Efficacy of Variety of Medications with Ease

The AI-driven technologies offered by Atomwise promises to significantly reduce the vast time spent physical synthesis and testing. Consequently this will help researchers and drug makers evaluate the efficacy of compounds on human body and ascertain their potential as medications, taking into account the various side-effects. Of note, the company stated that its technologies can screen as many as 10 million compounds each day. For the holistic picture, such technologies will help the global pharmaceutical companies to tread a path of AI-driven R&D productivity.