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Relay Therapeutics Extends Leadership in Integrating Computational and Experimental Approaches to Create Precision Medicines by Acquiring ZebiAI

  • Relay Therapeutics’ leadership in this new breed of biotech positions the company as a strategic partner of choice for emerging technologies and founders in these fields
  • ZebiAI amplifies Relay Therapeutics’ Dynamo™ platform with a library of industry-leading experimental DEL data sets and validated machine learning models deployed in hit finding and optimization of novel medicines

Relay Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage precision medicine company transforming the drug discovery process by combining leading edge computational and experimental technologies,  announced the acquisition of ZebiAI, a pioneer in applying massive experimental DNA encoded library data sets to power machine learning for drug discovery (ML-DEL). Together, Relay Therapeutics and ZebiAI aspire to accelerate the application of machine learning across the Dynamo™ platform to potentially fast-track the finding of novel medicines against intractable targets.

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Relay Therapeutics’ experienced team, leadership, and track record of integrating leading edge computational and experimental technologies positions the company as a strategic partner of choice for emerging technologies and founders in these fields. ZebiAI is the first of such technologies that will augment the Dynamo platform, and Relay Therapeutics looks forward to further investments in these areas.

At its core, Relay Therapeutics’ approach is to continually enhance the drug discovery process by accumulating purpose-built experimental data sets at each point along the discovery continuum and deploy them to strengthen the predictive power of proprietary computational tools. ZebiAI builds on Relay Therapeutics’ approach by bringing a massive library of curated experimental data, validated machine learning models, a collaboration with Google’s Accelerated Science Group to continue to build this computational capability, as well as a team with deep expertise in ML-DEL.

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“We are excited to welcome the ZebiAI team into Relay Therapeutics,” said Sanjiv Patel, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Relay Therapeutics. “We have built a unique ability over the past five years to combine diverse computational and experimental technologies to create new medicines. The combination of ZebiAI’s approach with our Dynamo platform has the potential to predict more drug-like chemical starting points, reduce cycle time to compound optimization, and ultimately, increase the number and range of programs that can be developed in parallel. We aim to continue to tackle the toughest drug discovery problems to have an even greater impact on patients, and ZebiAI will help us achieve this goal.”

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“We believe the combination of Relay Therapeutics’ proven track record of integrating computational and experimental technologies to bring medicines into clinical development with ZebiAI’s extensive experimental data sets and ML-DEL capabilities will push the boundaries of what is possible in drug discovery,” said Rafael Gomez-Bombarelli, Ph.D., chief learning officer of ZebiAI and assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who will join Relay Therapeutics as an advisor.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Relay Therapeutics will pay $85 million upfront, comprised of $20 million in cash and $65 million in Relay Therapeutics common stock. ZebiAI stockholders are also eligible to receive up to an additional $85 million in platform and program-related milestone payments, payable in Relay Therapeutics common stock. Additionally, if Relay Therapeutics enters partnering or collaboration agreements related to ZebiAI’s platform, ZebiAI stockholders are eligible to receive 10% of the payments received within the next three years, up to an aggregate cap of $100 million payable in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing of this acquisition, Relay Therapeutics continues to expect its current cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund its current operating plan into 2024.

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