BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Animol Discovery, Inc., a pioneer in veterinary pharmaceutical discovery, today announced it has raised $34.0 million in Series B financing. The investment was led by Novalis Lifesciences, with participation from Finistere Ventures and existing investor Anterra Capital. The proceeds allow the company to expand and advance its pipeline of novel active pharmaceutical ingredients through clinical development and further enhance its cutting-edge drug discovery platform.
The $40Bn animal health industry continues to demand novel medicines to treat infectious and chronic diseases in companion and production animals. Recent successes, such as Apoquel™ from Zoetis and Nexguard™ from Boehringer Ingelheim, demonstrate the potential to build towards blockbuster franchises in the sector with novel pharmaceutical products.
“Pet parents and livestock farmers continue to demand novel veterinary pharmaceuticals that can protect animals against diseases and improve quality of life,” said Andrew Plant PhD, chief executive officer, Animol Discovery. “Despite this strong demand, innovation is lagging. At Animol, we seek to address this innovation gap by leveraging the most advanced tools from human pharma to bring forward a wealth of new medicines that can benefit animals and the people who care for them.”
Founded in 2020 and incubated by Anterra Capital, Animol is pioneering the use of DNA Encoded Library (DEL) drug discovery technology coupled with powerful machine learning approaches to enable the rapid discovery of novel veterinary medicines.
“We have built Animol on the same cutting edge discovery techniques that we are using to disrupt drug discovery in human pharma (ZebiAI - acquired by Relay Therapeutics) and crop protection (Enko Chem),” said Philip Austin, Managing Partner at Anterra Capital. “Translating these tools to the massive opportunity available in veterinary pharma was the next obvious step and we are already seeing their use successfully build into a rich pipeline of promising compounds.”
Animol also announced that Marijn Dekkers PhD, founder & chairman of Novalis LifeSciences LLC will join the Board of Directors. Dr. Dekkers formerly served as the CEO of Bayer AG, and as the CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. At Bayer he oversaw one of the largest global animal health companies.
“Most current medicines in the $40B veterinary pharma market are derived from drugs that have been originally developed for humans. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but there are many animal-specific diseases that require a targeted effort. I like Animol Discovery’s approach to use its breakthrough drug discovery platform to specifically address significant unmet needs in animals. I am looking forward to working with the team to optimize the opportunity ahead,” said Dr. Dekkers.
“It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome Marijn Dekkers to our Board of Directors. Dr. Dekkers is an exceptional industry leader with a track record of turning innovation into successful businesses across the spectrum of life sciences, including in animal health,” said Andrew Plant PhD, chief executive officer, Animol Discovery. “He is an excellent addition to our team of experienced industry leaders.”
“I am also delighted to bring Doug Hutchens on board as chief scientific officer. Dr. Hutchens brings a wealth of industry experience in animal health research and product development; having someone who has also served as Chief Veterinary Officer within a major animal health company brings huge value to our expanding team,” added Dr. Plant.
“I am thrilled by the prospect of joining Animol’s dynamic and experienced team as chief scientific officer,” said Doug Hutchens, DVM, PhD. “The company’s ability to interrogate protein targets with billions of DNA-tagged molecules and, using DNA sequencing, identify selective inhibitors from numerous diverse chemical families is game changing in animal health drug discovery. Leveraging these data with proprietary, highly predictive machine learning algorithms, is enabling the identification of novel drug-like compounds in a matter of weeks from the initial DEL screen. This technology platform greatly expands the opportunities, significantly increases the probability, and accelerates the timeline in developing new classes of therapeutic molecules.”
Animol is a pioneer in using state of the art drug discovery technology to discover small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients to transform standards of care in veterinary medicine. The company is reducing the time and cost to discover novel active ingredients utilizing DNA-encoded libraries, machine learning/AI and structure-based design.
Animol is a private company based in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information see www.Animol-discovery.com
About Novalis LifeSciences LLC
Novalis LifeSciences LLC is an investment and advisory firm for the Life Science industry that was founded in 2017 by Marijn E. Dekkers. With a team of experienced operating executives from the Life Science industry, Novalis funds and advises visionary Life Science entrepreneurs. In addition to making financial investments, Novalis provides strategic and operational advice to portfolio companies that are at a critical growth stage in their development. For more information, visit www.novalislifesciences.com