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July 16, 2019updated 23 Dec 2019 10:53am

Recursion secures funds to support AI-based drug discovery

Artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery firm Recursion Pharmaceuticals, has secured $121m in a series C funding round led by the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust.

Artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery firm Recursion Pharmaceuticals, has secured $121m in a series C funding round led by the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust.

The Trust was joined by new investors Intermountain Ventures, Texas Tech University System, Regents of the University of Minnesota and certain angel investors.

Previous backers Lux Capital, Mubadala Ventures, Obvious Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Data Collective, AME Cloud Ventures, Epic Ventures, and CRV also participated in the fundraising.

Recursion uses AI with automated, experimental biology to discover and develop new therapies for rare diseases, inflammation, infectious disease, and immuno-oncology.

The company intends to use the latest proceeds to further develop its machine learning-based drug discovery platform. Besides, the funds will be utilised to accelerate the chemistry of a new chemical entity and predict safety pharmacology.

Recursion also plans to advance its own pre-clinical and clinical assets, including clinical-stage programmes targeting cerebral cavernous malformation and neurofibromatosis type 2.

The company will also form industry alliances across immuno-oncology, oncology, ageing, and inflammation therapeutic areas, among others.

As part of the alliance formed with Takeda in 2017, Recursion was able to identify new therapeutic candidates for more than six diseases. Takeda exercised its option for drug candidates in a couple of rare diseases.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals CEO Chris Gibson said: “With these new resources, we will continue to drive toward a future in which drugs are developed, by people, with a new level of understanding about human biology that was simply not possible before machines.”

The company aims to build a map of human cellular biology in order to enable the quick discovery and development of new drugs for all diseases that can be modelled at the cellular level.

It has built a data set from automated screens for a variety of indications, such as infectious disease, cancer, inflammation, ageing, and diagnostics.

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