SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genesis Therapeutics, a biotech company harnessing breakthrough AI-technology to optimize drug discovery and development, today announced that it has raised $4.1 million in seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with Felicis Ventures as a major investor. Genesis aims to discover and develop innovative small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of patients with severe and debilitating disorders. The company also expects to strategically partner with pharmaceutical companies to bring select candidates to market.
Genesis Therapeutics originated in state-of-the-art AI technology from the renowned Pande Lab at Stanford, where Evan Feinberg -- principal founder, inventor, and CEO -- completed his Ph.D. “Personal experience as a patient has rendered me acutely aware of the deficiencies in our present pharmacopeia,” shares Dr. Feinberg. “We spun Genesis out of Stanford so we could ambitiously expand our portfolio of cutting-edge AI technologies and recruit industry leaders in drug development to create the next generation of therapies for patients with severe medical conditions and unmet medical needs. By continuously innovating in deep learning and forming a tight feedback loop between our software engineers and proven drug developers, we can, with greater rapidity, discover more potent, selective, and bioavailable small molecule therapies."
Dr. Feinberg co-founded the company earlier this year with software engineering leader and startup veteran Ben Sklaroff, and the pair is joined by biopharma executive James Schaeffer, Ph.D. Biotech innovator Peppi Prasit, Ph.D. heads the Scientific Advisory Board. Leonard Bell, M.D., biotech pioneer, principal founder and former long-time CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, serves as Chair of the company’s Board of Directors. Drs. Bell and Prasit have collectively driven the discovery and development of eleven FDA-approved treatments.
With the seed funding, Genesis Therapeutics is expanding its cutting-edge AI-enabled drug discovery team with the active recruitment of software engineers, AI engineers and scientists as it focuses on specific drug programs addressing the treatment of patients suffering with severe disorders. Genesis is additionally exploring partnership opportunities to develop small molecule therapeutics across a range of disease categories.
Genesis Therapeutics originated out of the acclaimed Stanford University lab of Vijay Pande, Ph.D., where Dr. Feinberg invented PotentialNet, the initial component of the company’s expanding portfolio of proprietary AI technologies. Working together, Drs. Feinberg and Pande published peer-reviewed research demonstrating PotentialNet’s field-leading performance in potency prediction, which was then further validated through a collaboration between Stanford and Merck Research Laboratories. Genesis was subsequently founded to develop drug candidates internally and, selectively, in partnership with biopharmaceutical companies.
“Genesis Therapeutics is continuously advancing its AI platform by leveraging biophysical simulation and the inclusion and development of additional proprietary deep learning technologies. The initial team has also expanded to include a team of proven drug developers,” explained Dr. Vijay Pande, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “We chose Genesis as our bet in this nascent space because of our firm‘s conviction in the team’s rigorous science, continued innovation, and incredible track record of its leadership and founding board. Between their internal programs and being poised as a unique partner for biopharma companies looking to optimize the outcomes of their pipeline, we are excited to see the impact Genesis will have in patient care over the coming decades."
“As a physician and scientist, I have built and led organizations that have discovered, developed and delivered life-transforming therapies for patients suffering with severe and devastating rare diseases in over 50 countries,” said Dr. Bell. “I am enthusiastic to help facilitate Genesis’ growth and management so that we can drive the potential of molecular AI to discover and develop innovative and breakthrough therapies directed at patients suffering with severe and debilitating disorders.”
About Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm with $10 billion under management. Focused on investing in software eating the world, the firm partners with entrepreneurs in their company building at all stages -- from seed to late-stage -- in the biology, consumer, crypto, enterprise, and fintech industries. See companies here: https://a16z.com/portfolio/.
About Felicis Ventures
Founded in 2006, Felicis Ventures is a venture capital firm that has backed 27 companies valued at $1B or more. Felicis invests in iconic companies reinventing core markets (Opendoor, Flexport), as well as those creating frontier technologies (Ginkgo Bioworks, Recursion Pharmaceuticals). More than 80 Felicis portfolio companies have been acquired or gone public, including Adyen (IPO), Guardant Health (IPO), Fitbit (IPO), Shopify (IPO), Meraki (acquired by Cisco), Twitch (acquired by Amazon) and Ring (acquired by Amazon). To learn more, please visit www.felicis.com.
About Genesis Therapeutics
Genesis Therapeutics is an innovative biotechnology company engaging its proprietary molecular AI technology to transform clinical outcomes for patients. The company was founded in 2019 out of Stanford University by Evan Feinberg Ph.D., co-founded by Ben Sklaroff, and backed by Vijay Pande, Ph.D. In addition, Peppi Prasit, Ph.D. leads the Scientific Advisory Board and Leonard Bell, M.D., serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. Its team of technology trailblazers and proven drug developers are driving the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs to treat patients suffering with severe and debilitating diseases. The company is also actively partnering with biopharmaceutical companies worldwide to launch select novel therapies. Based in South San Francisco, Genesis Therapeutics received seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Felicis Ventures. To learn more, visit www.genesistherapeutics.ai.