Black Rock push es Ex sci en tia Se ries C to $100M as AI biotech boom con tin ues

随着人工智能生物技术的蓬勃发展,黑岩公司将es sci en tia Series C推升至1亿美元

2021-03-04 20:30:10 ENDPOINTS NEWS


The ju­ry’s still out on whether the first wave of AI com­pa­nies can sig­nif­i­cant­ly change drug de­vel­op­ment, but in­vestors are in­creas­ing­ly buy­ing in­to the hype. Ex­sci­en­tia, the decade-old UK ma­chine learn­ing out­fit, an­nounced Thurs­day that they’ve ex­pand­ed their Se­ries C, first an­nounced in May, from $60 mil­lion to $100 mil­lion. The ex­pan­sion most no­tably in­cludes Black­Rock, the pri­vate eq­ui­ty firm that has been wad­ing deep­er and deep­er in­to biotech. They now join No­vo Hold­ings, Bris­tol My­ers Squibb and oth­ers among the com­pa­ny’s most re­cent back­ers. “Ex­sci­en­tia is break­ing ground in small mol­e­cule drug de­sign, with a plat­form that rad­i­cal­ly im­proves drug dis­cov­ery” William Abecas­sis, head of Black­Rock’s biotech fund In­no­va­tion Cap­i­tal, said in a state­ment. “We are thrilled to be in­vest­ing in this world-class team, who are al­ready de­liv­er­ing re­sults with AI-de­signed drugs now en­ter­ing clin­i­cal tri­als.” One of the first AI biotechs that emerged in the ear­ly 2010s promis­ing to ac­cel­er­ate drug de­vel­op­ment by screen­ing for mol­e­cules far faster than hu­man chemists, Ex­sci­en­tia an­nounced in 2020 that they brought the first AI-dis­cov­ered drug in­to hu­man tri­als. It was a du­bi­ous claim, de­pen­dent on pre­cise­ly what one means by AI-de­vel­oped; Re­cur­sion Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals had claimed the same man­tle not long be­fore. Still, Ex­sci­en­tia has emerged as a clear win­ner of the first round of AI drug de­vel­op­ers, part­ner­ing with Bay­er, Bris­tol My­ers, Sanofi, Glax­o­SmithK­line, Evotec and Sum­it­o­mo Da­nip­pon among oth­ers. Oth­er com­pa­nies that emerged around the same time have al­so found mo­men­tum and dol­lars. Re­cur­sion land­ed a $239 mil­lion mega-round and a $1 bil­lion Bay­er part­ner­ship in Sep­tem­ber.  Atom­wise, a com­pa­ny that start­ed out at Y com­bi­na­tor and re­ceived crit­i­cism for over­hyp­ing its ser­vices, more than tripled its to­tal ever fundrais­ing with a $123 mil­lion Se­ries B. At the same time, oth­er com­pa­nies have popped up: Most promi­nent­ly Daphne Koller’s In­sitro, which raised near­ly $250 mil­lion and scored a big-mon­ey part­ner­ship with Gilead with­in 2 years of its 2018 launch. But al­so a raft of oth­er small­er biotechs, in­clud­ing Gen­e­sis Ther­a­peu­tics and Rever­ie Labs, that have launched teamed with big biotech or big phar­ma and raised small to mid-sized rounds. The pan­dem­ic al­so brought the AI field one of its first con­crete suc­cess­es: Ear­ly in the out­break, Benev­o­lent AI iden­ti­fied Eli Lil­ly’s JAK in­hibitor baric­i­tinib as a po­ten­tial treat­ment for Covid-19. Lil­ly pushed it through pre­clin­i­cal and clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment on their sug­ges­tion, even­tu­al­ly show­ing it im­proved time-to-re­cov­ery in hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients and land­ing an EUA from the FDA. Ex­sci­en­tia will use the cash to keep scal­ing the ma­chine learn­ing plat­form they’ve used to iden­ti­fy can­di­dates for big phar­ma but al­so to ex­pand their abil­i­ty to de­vel­op their own pipeline of drugs. It’s a piv­ot sev­er­al of the first AI biotechs have made as they raise more cap­i­tal and ex­pand op­er­a­tions. Ex­sci­en­tia said they’ve dou­bled in size over the past year and now em­ploy over 100 peo­ple. “We are de­light­ed that Black­Rock shares our vi­sion for rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing how drugs are dis­cov­ered,” CEO An­drew Hop­kins said in a state­ment. “Black­Rock’s in­vest­ment is an im­por­tant step in our vi­sion that all drugs will be de­signed by AI. I be­lieve that our com­pa­ny’s reimag­ined ap­proach to drug dis­cov­ery will be­come the new de fac­to stan­dard” Before David Liu became famous for inventing new forms of gene editing, he was known around academia in part for a more obscure innovation: a Rube Goldberg-esque system that uses bacteria-infecting viruses to take one protein and turn it into another. Since 2011, Liu’s lab has used the system, called PACE, to dream up fantastical new proteins: DNA base editors far more powerful than the original; more versatile forms of the gene editor Cas9; insecticides that kill insecticide-resistant bugs; enzymes that slide synthetic amino acids into living organisms. But they struggled throughout to master one of the most common and powerful proteins in the biological world: proteases, a set of Swiss army knife enzymes that cut, cleave or shred other proteins in everything from viruses to humans. The global pandemic may have roiled economies, killed hundreds of thousands and throttled entire industries, but the only effect it had on biopharma venture investing was to help turbocharge the field to giddy new heights. Below you’ll find the new top 100 venture investors in the industry, ranked by the number of deals they were publicly involved in, as tracked by DealForma chief Chris Dokomajilar. The numbers master then calculated the estimated amount of money they put into each deal — divvying up the cash by the number of players — to indicate how they managed their syndicates. Eli Lilly isn’t just gunning for a better diabetes drug in tirzepatide. They want to cut ahead of Novo Nordisk’s blockbuster rival Ozempic (semaglutide) on the obesity front as well. But a newly-claimed win in a head-to-head Phase III showdown over reducing A1C while shedding pounds — complete with clear evidence of superiority over the approved rival — could prove a tough sell right now. Let’s start with the latest data from Lilly. The EMA has started a rolling review of Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine that holds the dubious title of the world’s first registered jab for Covid-19. Seven months after the controversial clearance in Russia, Europe’s human medicines committee says it’s convinced to start looking at the application by data indicating that the adenovirus-based vaccine triggers the production of antibodies and immune cells against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It’s clear by now that biopharma experienced a massive boom in 2020, but a new report out Thursday says the Massachusetts hub was particularly successful. The trade group MassBio released its latest industry snapshot, summarizing the last calendar year as the most successful for the Massachusetts biopharma sector. Overall, Massachusetts-based biotechs raised $5.8 billion in 2020, marking a hefty 93% increase from the previous year. Gilead is chopping 179 jobs in its home state of California as it scales down its headquarters in favor of a hub in North Carolina. Up to half of the roles would shift to Research Triangle Park, where the company is setting up a new business services and information technology center, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The precise number will depend on how many employees choose to relocate. Per a WARN notice filed with the state, the layoffs are expected to be effective May 30. It occasionally occurs to Paul Sekhri that if they pull this off, his company will be on the front page of the New York Times and a lead story in just about every major news outlet on the planet. He tries not to dwell on it, though. “I just want to be laser-focused on getting to that point,” Sekhri says, before acknowledging, “Yes, it absolutely crossed my mind.” Sekhri, a longtime biopharma executive with tenures at Sanofi and Novartis, is now entering year three as CEO of eGenesis, the biotech that George Church protégé Luhan Yang founded to genetically alter pigs so that they can be used for organ transplants. He led them through one megaround and has just closed another, raising $125 million from 17 different investors to push the first-ever (humanized) pig to human transplants into the clinic. Roughly three and a half months since its last fundraising round, the Peter Thiel-backed ATAI Life Sciences has pulled in its latest venture haul. The company closed a $157 million Series D round early Wednesday as it presses the gas on its psychedelics-based strategy. Though the short time between the two raises will likely fuel speculation about a potential jump to Nasdaq, ATAI isn’t ready to talk about that just yet, preemptively declining comment on all IPO-related questions. One of Europe’s most high-profile biopharma investors is getting $540 million to invest in new crossover deals for late-stage companies. The Paris-based VC says the fresh Sofinnova Crossover Fund raise positions them as the “largest crossover investor in Europe dedicated to late-stage biopharma and medtech investments.” They got a leg up in France after winning a special “Tibi” designation from the French government, giving them access to a pool of €6 billion that helped them gain an edge with institutional investors. Since they were founded close to 50 years ago, the venture group has backed more than 500 companies and currently has more than €2 billion under management.
如果我不能改变药物的发展,第一波人工智能产业能否成功,目前还没有定论,但投资者们肯定会买账。 有十年历史的英国企业家在周四宣布,他们的销售额从6000万美元升至1亿美元,第一次是在5月份宣布的。最不明确的解释是黑岩,一家对生物技术投入越来越深的原始EQ公司。他们现在加入了“无障碍”、“有障碍”、“施贵宝”和“其他公司”的行列,成为公司最受欢迎的后盾。 Black-Rock公司生物技术基金的负责人William Abecas-sis在一份声明中说:“前科学在小型药物设计方面正在取得进展,这一平台可以证明药物的分散性。”“我们很高兴能加入这支世界级的团队,他们现在已经准备好了签署药品合同的三份合同。” 2010年代出现的第一批人工智能生物技术之一,通过比人类化学家更快地筛选分子来获得药物的生产,曾在2020年宣布,他们为人类三人带来了第一个人工智能覆盖的药物。这是一个没有意义的主张,是对AI-De-Vel-Oped的含义的理解;就在不久之前,同样的人也被认领了。 尽管如此,Excientia已经成为第一轮人工智能药品销售的明显赢家,与贝儿、布里斯托尔、赛诺菲、葛兰素史克、Evotec和SumitoMo Danippon等公司不一而足。 在同一时期出现的任何企业都有这样的发现。今年9月,Recurression登陆了一艘价值2.39亿美元的Lion Mega Round和一艘价值1美元的Bill Lion Bayer Partner船。Atom Wise是一家从Y公司起步并因其服务过多而受到批评的公司,它以1.23亿美元的销售额将其筹资额翻了三倍多。 与此同时,其他公司也出现了:最受欢迎的是达芙妮·科勒的In-Sitro公司,该公司在2018年上市的两年时间里,筹集了近2.5亿美元的资金,并在Gilead公司获得了巨大的成功。但也有一大堆小型生物技术公司,包括Gene-e-sis ther-a peus和Rever-ie实验室,它们与大型生物技术公司或大型Phar-ma公司联手,推出了小型到中型的研发项目。 Pandem'ic也因此给人工智能领域带来了第一个具体的成果:Ear'ly在Out'break,Benev'o'aiiden'ti't将Eli Lil'ly的JAK In-Shibitor Baric'i'tinib作为COVID-19的一种特殊治疗。在他们的建议下,李尔利推动了它的通过,甚至还显示了它的改进时间---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 前科将用这笔钱来维持中国学习平台的规模,他们过去曾为大型企业确定过日期,但现在也是这样,前科和他们的能力也在发展他们自己的毒品管道。这是许多生物技术公司制造的第一批人工智能,因为他们筹集了更多的资本和业务。前科学家说,他们的规模在过去一年有所缩小,现在已经超过100人。 首席执行官安德鲁·霍普金斯在一份声明中说:“我们了解到,黑岩公司与我们一样,对毒品的管制也有同样的看法。”“黑岩的加入是我们在所有药物都将由AI签署的设想中迈出的重要一步。我相信,我们公司对毒品犯罪的重新定位将成为新的法律依据。“ 在大卫·刘因发明基因编辑的新形式而出名之前,他在学术界的知名度在一定程度上是因为他的一项更默默无闻的创新:一种鲁伯·戈德堡式的系统,利用细菌感染的病毒获取一种蛋白质并将其转化为另一种蛋白质。 自2011年以来,刘的实验室使用了这套名为PACE的系统,梦想出梦幻般的新蛋白质:DNA碱基编辑器比原来的功能强大得多;基因编辑器Cas9的更多功能形式;杀灭抗药性虫子的杀虫剂;将合成氨基酸滑入生物体内的酶。但他们一直在努力掌握生物界最常见、最强大的蛋白质之一:蛋白酶,这是一组瑞士军刀酶,可以切割、裂解或撕碎从病毒到人类的任何事物中的其他蛋白质。 这场全球大流行可能扰乱了经济,夺走了数十万人的生命,扼杀了整个行业,但它对生物制药风险投资的唯一影响是帮助该领域达到令人眩晕的新高度。 根据DealForma首席执行官Chris Dokomajilar的记录,以下是业内前100名风险投资家的排名,根据他们公开参与的交易数量排名。然后,数字大师计算出他们投入每笔交易的估计金额--按玩家人数分配现金--以表明他们是如何管理自己的辛迪加的。 礼来并不只是在寻找一种更好的糖尿病药物替西帕肽。他们还想在肥胖方面超越诺和诺德的劲敌奥赞比克(赛马鲁肽)。但是,新宣称的在第三阶段关于减少A1C同时减磅的正面对决中获胜--有明显的证据表明它优于已批准的竞争对手--可能会证明现在很难卖出。 先从礼来的最新数据说起。 EMA已经开始对俄罗斯的Sputnik V疫苗进行滚动审查,该疫苗被称为世界上首个注册的新冠疫苗。 在俄罗斯获得这一有争议的批准7个月后,欧洲人类药物委员会表示,有数据表明,以腺病毒为基础的疫苗会引发针对新型冠状病毒冠状病毒的抗体和免疫细胞的产生,因此该委员会确信将开始研究这一申请。 现在很明显,生物制药在2020年经历了一个巨大的繁荣,但周四发布的一份新报告说,马萨诸塞州的中心尤其成功。 贸易组织MassBio发布了最新的行业快照,总结了过去一年是马萨诸塞州生物制药行业最成功的一年。总体而言,总部位于马萨诸塞州的biotechs在2020年筹集了58亿美元,比上年大幅增长93%。 Gilead在其总部所在地加利福尼亚州裁减了179个工作岗位,并将总部设在北卡罗来纳州。 据《旧金山纪事报》报道,多达一半的职位将转移到Research Triangle Park,该公司正在那里建立一个新的商业服务和信息技术中心。确切的数字将取决于有多少员工选择搬迁。 根据向该州提交的警告通知,裁员预计将于5月30日生效。 Paul Sekhri偶尔会想到,如果他们成功了,他的公司将登上《纽约时报》的头版,并成为地球上几乎所有主要新闻媒体的头版报道。不过,他尽量不去想这件事。 “我只想把注意力集中到这一点上,”塞赫里说,然后承认,“是的,我绝对想过了。” 塞克里是一名长期从事生物制药的高管,曾在赛诺菲和诺华任职。如今,他担任eGenesis首席执行官已进入第三年。eGenesis是乔治•丘奇的门生杨露汉创建的生物技术公司,旨在对猪进行基因改造,使它们能够用于器官移植。他带领他们通过了一个megaround,刚刚关闭了另一个,从17个不同的投资者那里筹集了1.25亿美元,将有史以来第一个(人化的)猪移植到人类的诊所。 距离上一轮融资大约三个半月,彼得•泰尔支持的阿泰生命科学公司已经收获了最新的投资成果。 周三早些时候,该公司结束了1.57亿美元的D轮投资,因为它正在对其以迷幻剂为基础的战略施加压力。虽然两次上调之间的时间很短,可能会引发外界对纳斯达克IPO可能跳水的猜测,但安泰暂时还没有准备好谈论这个问题,先发制人地拒绝就所有与IPO相关的问题置评。 欧洲最受瞩目的生物制药投资者之一将获得5.4亿美元,投资于新的跨界交易,为处于后期阶段的公司投资。 这家总部位于巴黎的风投公司表示,新的Sofinnova跨界基金融资使他们成为“欧洲最大的跨界投资者,致力于后期生物制药和医疗技术投资”。 他们在法国获得了法国政府颁发的“Tibi”特许权,从而获得了60亿欧元的资金池,帮助他们在机构投资者中获得了优势。自50年前成立以来,这家风险集团已经支持了500多家公司,目前管理着超过20亿欧元的资金。