BURLINGAME, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genesis Therapeutics, a company pioneering AI technologies to create medicines for patients with severe and unmet medical needs, has completed its $52M Series A financing round. Rock Springs Capital led the round. Several other investors participated, including funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Seed-round lead investor Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, and Radical Ventures, whose founders co-founded the world-leading Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Kris Jenner, M.D., D.Phil., co-founder and managing partner of Rock Springs, has joined Genesis’ Board of Directors; Dr. Vijay Pande, who led Genesis’ seed round at Andreessen Horowitz, and Greg Yap of Menlo Ventures have joined as Board observers.
The Series A round had further participation by Felicis Ventures (also invested in the seed round), Jazz Venture Partners, Harpoon Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Mark Leslie (former CEO of Veritas Software), Jeffrey Rothschild (co-founder of Veritas Software; early employee, VP of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook), Propagator Ventures, and Open Field Capital.
Genesis will employ the proceeds of the financing as it focuses on driving its drug discovery and development programs through (i) aggressive expansion of Genesis’ world-class team of drug hunters, AI researchers, and software engineers, (ii) acceleration of its innovation in AI technologies, and (iii) advancement of its innovative therapeutics pipeline.
Genesis is progressing both an internal drug pipeline, as well as select external partnerships, to create transformative therapies for patients. Most recently, Genesis announced a multi-target partnership with Genentech.
“Artificial intelligence holds immense promise to catalyze the development of the next generation of highly selective, orally bioavailable molecules, with reduced side effects, for the most impactful drug targets,” said Evan N. Feinberg, Ph.D., Genesis’ CEO and co-founder. “We are very encouraged by the confidence expressed by this very strong combination of investors, spanning both biotech and tech, cross-over and venture capital.”
“We are honored to be joined by Dr. Jenner, and look forward to benefitting from his renowned experience as a healthcare investor who has worked with multiple successful biotech entrepreneurs, including with Genesis’ founding chairman, Dr. Leonard Bell, for decades,” added Dr. Feinberg.
“With its unique technology and team, Genesis is among the most exciting new companies in the field of innovating and applying artificial intelligence to accelerate the development of new therapies,” said Dr. Jenner. “In our diligence process, we were impressed not only by the rigor of their platform and the extensive AI and drug development accomplishments of their team, but also by the nascent yet powerful applications of their platform to laboratory experiments for their drug discovery pipeline. We are united in our view that drug discovery and development must raise its success rate. AI is an emerging category of technologies that – especially in the hands of skilled practitioners – offers the potential to do so.”
“Since founding the bio fund at Andreessen Horowitz, our mandate has been to help launch companies at the intersection of computer science and biology to change the face of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries,” said Dr. Pande. “It has been a joy to work with my former student, Dr. Feinberg, on translating promising innovations at Stanford into a company of top-flight scientists and engineers who are deeply passionate about executing a superior process for the discovery and development of drugs.”
The Genesis story began in the acclaimed Pande Lab at Stanford University, where then graduate student Feinberg co-invented and co-authored key deep learning technologies and peer-reviewed papers published in ACS Central Science and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the latter jointly written with a top-five global pharmaceutical company. The scientific founders distinguished themselves from the outset with their influential PotentialNet neural network algorithm, pioneering novel graph neural networks for molecular property prediction. Since its founding in early 2019, Genesis’ team of talented AI researchers and software engineers -- alumni of leading institutions including MIT, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Facebook’s PyTorch team -- has dramatically accelerated its innovation in AI technologies for drug discovery. The engineering team is led by co-founder Ben Sklaroff, an early employee and former director of software at Markforged.
Genesis Therapeutics is a unique organization that revolves around a true collaboration between drug hunters, who have discovered and/or developed multiple FDA-approved drugs, and accomplished AI and software engineers. Dr. Feinberg and Mr. Sklaroff are joined by acting Chief Scientific Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Dr. Peppi Prasit, Ph.D.; founding Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Leonard Bell, M.D.; and Vice President of Chemistry Dr. Nicholas Stock, Ph.D. Prior to joining Genesis, Dr. Prasit is known for his work on Vioxx®, Arcoxia®, Singulair® at Merck, before founding Amira Pharmaceuticals (acquired by BMS) and Inception Sciences. Dr. Leonard Bell is principal founder and was long-time CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, which he led from its inception to joining the S&P 500, and to developing four FDA-approved new drug entities Soliris®, Strensiq®, Kanuma®, and Ultomiris®. Dr. Stock worked closely with Dr. Prasit at three previous companies, and has co-invented thirty-six patents and led the discovery of multiple clinical molecules.
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About the Genesis Molecular AI Platform
Genesis has developed Dynamic PotentialNet and other novel neural network algorithms that examine drug-target complexes as flexible, spatial graphs -- enabling superior prediction of potency and selectivity of drug candidates. The company’s technology offers significant advantages in addressing novel, previously undruggable targets in addition to well-characterized therapeutic targets. Genesis’ AI engineering team partners closely with its medicinal chemists to execute and continuously strengthen an innovative process for drug discovery and early development. Genesis’ robust infrastructure scales the company’s AI platform on the Cloud, enabling the company to combine its proprietary Molecular Generation Engine with its field-leading molecular property predictors to search immense swaths of chemical space, approaching drug discovery as a multiparameter optimization problem.
Genesis Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that invents and deploys breakthrough AI techniques to discover and develop drugs both internally as well as in select partnerships. Genesis is unique in its groundbreaking deep learning technology, its synergy of machine learning with biophysical simulation and its pairing of AI with extensive biotech/pharma expertise. With origins in AI research at Stanford University by its co-founder and CEO, Evan Feinberg, Ph.D., Genesis has raised Series A funding led by Rock Springs Capital and Seed funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, and augmented its technical expertise with accomplished biotech veterans. Complementing its cutting-edge technology, Genesis’ cadre of seasoned drug hunters includes Peppi Prasit, Ph.D., acting chief scientific officer and member of the Board of Directors; Dr. Nicholas Stock, Ph.D., VP of Chemistry; and Leonard Bell, M.D., founding chairman of the Board of Directors. Genesis was co-founded in 2019 by Dr. Feinberg and by Ben Sklaroff, who serves as VP of Engineering. The company is headquartered in Burlingame, CA. To learn more, visit genesistherapeutics.ai.