Insilico Medicine Raises Series D to Launch Robotic Drug Discovery Laboratory

Insilico said its technology has been used to conduct research on COVID-19 treatments.

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Insilico is developing automation for drug discovery.
Insilico Medicine is using the funding to build out a fully robotic biological data factory.

Insilico Medicine, a biotechnology firm that takes advantage of artificial intelligence, announced this week that it has completed a $60 million Series D financing round. To date, the company has raised $366 million since its founding in 2014.

The Hong Kong-based company “provides AI solutions to the top pharma and biotechnology companies to enable streamlined R&D efforts and transform the way therapeutics and materials are discovered,” according to its website.  

The company said the Series D financing will boost its financial position and fuel the growth of its advancing pipeline, including its lead program, which is currently in a Phase I study, and continued development of its Pharma.AI platform.

The proceeds will also fund ongoing global expansion and planned strategic initiatives, including a fully automated, AI-driven robotic drug discovery laboratory and a fully robotic biological data factory to complement Insilico's vast curated data assets.

“Despite unprecedented market conditions in the biotechnology sector, we raised this Series D round from several of the most reputable U.S.-based and global investors,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. “It is a testament to the strength of our end-to-end AI platform, which has been validated by many partners, and produced our first novel antifibrotic program discovered using AI and aging research and designed using our generative AI chemistry engine.”

Clinical programs continue to jump hurdles

Seven programs in Insilico's internal pipeline have progressed to the IND-enabling stage, including a novel 3CL protease inhibitor for COVID-19 treatment, and two synthetic lethality programs targeting MAT2A and USP1 for oncology. It also successfully completed a Phase 0 microdose study and entered a Phase I clinical trial with its first internally developed program targeting fibrosis.

“This unique program completed a first-in-human Phase 0 study in healthy volunteers and has entered Phase I clinical trials,” Zhavoronkov said. “We have also nominated seven preclinical candidates across a number of other disease indications since 2021. I am very excited about this progress and have decided to personally invest in this round.”

“With the power of cutting-edge AI platforms developed fully in house and validated by many global pharmaceutical companies and our innovative, highly parallel, fully distributed drug discovery model, we nominated seven preclinical candidates since I joined the company in 2021,” said Feng Ren, Insilico's chief scientific officer and head of global research and development.

Insilico makes development, software licensing deals

Insilico said it has also expanded its collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry through co-development and software licensing deals with a number of major pharmaceutical companies. Since the launch of its PandaOmics and Chemistry42in late 2020, nine out of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have licensed Insilico's AI platforms.

In 2022, Insilico signed a multi-asset partnership deal with Fosun Pharma in January, and a drug discovery co-development deal with EQRx in March. Notably, Insilico achieved its first major milestone and nominated a preclinical candidate for the QPCTL program for cancer immunotherapy in less than 40 days into the strategic collaboration with Fosun Pharma.

New investors, including a large, diversified asset management firm on the U.S. West Coast and BHR Partners joined the round. Current investors included Warburg Pincus, lead investor of Insilico's Series C financing, as well as B Capital Group, Qiming Venture Partners, BOLD Capital Partners, and Pavilion Capital.

Insilico said its AI-generated novel molecule for a novel target discovered with AI demonstrated efficacy in a broad therapeutic area and reached preclinical candidate stage in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

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Insilico is developing automation for drug discovery.

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