$90 Million Injected into Drug Discovery Company BenevolentAI; Focus Shifts to Making Medicines Sustainable for All
BenevolentAI applies its technology designed to enable better data-driven decisions to find ways to treat disease and personalize drugs for specific biological patterns.
In a major boost to the drug discovery industry, BenevolentAI announced raising $90 million from Temasek, a Singapore-headquartered investment company.
With this new funding round, the AI technology platform has demonstrated the promising future of involving Deep Learning in Drug Discovery, Drug Imaging, and Tele-medicine. The new capital will accelerate scientific and product innovation and drive further scaling of drug discovery and development platform. In September 2018, Goldman Sachs invested in the company, providing a major push to AI-based healthcare and pharmaceutical sector.
We have developed an #AI-powered knowledge base to contextualise all the relevant information and relationships between diseases, genes, drugs and what we know to be true about a disease. See it in action: https://t.co/OR8xvPnHLI #MachineLearning #DrugDevelopment
— BenevolentAI (@benevolent_ai) September 19, 2019
BenevolentAI is a leader in the creation and application of AI and machine learning to transform the way medicines are discovered and developed.
What Makes this Funding Important for the Drug Discovery Industry
Founded in 2013 by Brent Gutekunst, Ivan Griffin, Ken Mulvany, and Michael Brennan, BenevolentAI raised $292 million in three rounds of funding. As a neuroscience development company, BenevolentAI aims to improve the lives of patients suffering from diseases with no effective treatment. The Benevolent Platform® is used by scientists and technologists to find new ways to treat disease, improve the efficacy and lower the development time and costs of new treatments.
The funding will be used to scale and further develop the Benevolent Platform for drug discovery and development. BenevolentAI will continue to advance its growing pipeline of internal drug development programs and collaborations with strategic partners across its key therapeutic areas. Most recently, BenevolentAI announced long-term collaborations with AstraZeneca and Novartis, which will generate meaningful revenues for BenevolentAI over a multi-year period.
Despite AI’s rampaging growth in various multiple cross-function applications, the role of AI and Machine Learning in drug discovery has been mostly subdued. There are a close to 250 AI drug discovery platforms that market their products to analyze large amounts of data fast and provide explainable, auditable results for finding patterns in neuroscience pharmaceutical data and infer hypotheses for investigation.
At the time of this announcement, Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI, said —
“We are pleased that Temasek has invested in us to support our mission to bring more effective medicines to the patients who need them. This year, we have demonstrated strong commercial and scientific progress and this funding will further scale our technology and support the development of our pipeline of potentially transformational medicines.”
Personalized Medicine: Not a Dream Anymore
What makes AI and Machine Learning-based Drug Discovery so exciting is its potential to transform the idea of personalized medication and drug therapy for specific biological profiles. While it has been talked for many years now, AI and Machine Learning have been enabling it already.
For example, leading healthcare company Novartis is leveraging BenevolentAI’s technology platform to interrogate clinical trial and experimental data. The two companies investigate indications and responder group(s) for oncology assets currently in clinical development.
BenevolentAI applies its AI technology designed to enable better data-driven decisions to find new ways to treat disease and personalize drugs for patients.
The Benevolent Platform® ingests molecular, clinical, pharmacological data and scientific literature, to derive contextual relationships in the data between genes, diseases, drugs and biological pathways leading to the proposal of novel/optimal drug targets. The Platform supports scientists in the design and optimization of the right drug molecule for a unique patient population.
The company is also eyeing oncology drug discovery by leveraging AI ML and find underlying molecular mechanisms, pathways and biological processes specific to a particular patient. The new funding may put the pharma-enabler on the radar of most advanced neurological drug discovery platform in the coming weeks. While there are common interests for AI engineers, AI platforms and personalized healthcare providers at play here, the doubts regarding Personalized Drug and Medication could be a thing of the past very soon.
Currently, BenevolentAI is headquartered in London with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and further offices in New York. BenevolentAI has active R&D drug programs in disease areas such as ALS, Parkinson’s, Ulcerative Colitis and Sarcopenia.
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