Artificial intelligence (AI)-led drug development company Genesis Therapeutics has raised $200m in Series B financing.

Returning investor a16z Bio + Health and an unnamed US-based life sciences investor co-led the round with participation from new investors, including the venture capital arm of NVIDIA – a company considered a global leader in AI technology.

In a statement announcing the news, Genesis said that the funds, which brings the company’s total funding to exceed $280m, will go towards its Genesis Exploration of Molecular Space (GEMS) platform, which uses generative and predictive AI technology to accelerate drug discovery. The company says the platform can identify previously undruggable targets, opening up avenues for novel treatments.

Additionally, Genesis stated it will continue to advance its GEMS-enabled candidates into clinical development and expand the pipeline through new programmes.

Eli Lilly certainly sees the promise in the Genesis’ technology, after the pharma company signed a recent deal to discover new drugs for up to five targets using the AI platform.

AI is having a strong upsurge across the global pharma industry. In July, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a draft paper outlining how AI can be used in the life cycle of medicine. One area mentioned was the benefit of the technology in drug discovery, though it urged drug developers to maintain communication with regulators for transparency.

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Genesis Therapeutics CEO Evan Feinberg said: “This funding comes as Genesis is approaching an inflection point with the first of our AI-enabled drug candidates entering the clinic.

“The addition of our new lead investor, and other meaningful additions to our biotech and AI-oriented syndicate, will support Genesis in developing breakthrough therapies for patients with severe unmet medical needs, and their families, capitalising on the broad applicability and potential of the GEMS AI platform.”