BioSimulytics Raises €600k For Drug Molecule Software

03 Sep 2021 | 08.33 am

BioSimulytics Raises €600k For Drug Molecule Software

Speeding up development of new drugs

03 Sep 2021 | 08.33 am

UCD software spinout BioSimulytics has secured €600,000 in initial seed funding for its software solution that uses artificial intelligence to transform success rates when developing new drugs.

The NovaUCD-based company, founded in 2019 by Professor Niall English, Dr Christian Burnham, and Peter Doyle as a spin-out from the UCD School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, is focused on using artificial intelligence to digitise key steps in how new drug molecules are designed and developed.

The cash injection comes from angel investors and taxpayers through Enterprise Ireland.

The company says its software enables the pharma industry to advance potential molecules to approved medicines quicker and with a much greater probability of success.

In the industry it can take over a decade to bring new drug molecules, which are manufactured in their solid-state crystal structure, to market with only a very limited chance of success — less than 1%. A complicating factor in the process is polymorphism, the ability of a compound to exist in more than one stable crystalline structure — perhaps even hundreds.

As each can have different properties such as solubility, toxicity, and efficacy it is vital for pharma companies to fully understand the polymorphic landscape of their drug molecules, required also for regulatory compliance and patent protection, and to have absolute certainty about identifying and reproducing the most stable crystal structure of any new drug before bringing it to market for patient use.

The BioSimulytics software can predict the full polymorphic landscape of a molecule and rank its most stable crystal structures, within a matter of weeks, says the company.

Chief executive Peter Doyle said: “This seed funding will help us to expand our team here in Ireland and grow our client base in the EU and US markets. The successful development of Covid-19 vaccines over the last 18 months demonstrates the powerful role that new digital AI and HPC-based technologies play in dramatically transforming the pharma value chain. BioSimulytics’ goal is to be a key player in this rapidly expanding global market within the next few years.

“As a follow-on to this seed round, we plan to complete a multi-million euro Series A funding round within the next 18 to 24 months, following the full industrial validation of our technology.”

The company has already secured its first commercial contract with a major pharma company in Europe and has signed evaluation agreements with several others for industrial evaluation. 

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