AI-Based Drug Discovery Platform LabGenius Raises $10 Million In Funding

By Noah Long ● October 27, 2019
  • Drug discovery company LabGenius announced it raised $10 million in Series A funding

LabGenius — a drug discovery company that uses artificial intelligence, robotic automation, and synthetic biology for discovering novel protein therapeutics — announced it raised $10 million in Series A funding. And LabGenius is known for developing EVA — a robot scientist that is capable of designing, conducting, and learning from its own experiments. The learning aspect means that EVA is able to get continuously smarter as it unpicks the genetic design rules that underpin life.

This round of funding was led by Lux Capital and Obvious Ventures with participation from Felicis Ventures, Inovia Capital, Gigafund, Air Street Capital and existing investors.

And this funding round also included participation from Recursion Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO Chris Gibson as well as Inovia Capital General Partner Patrick Pichette — who was the former CFO of Google. In conjunction with the funding round, Lux Capital partner Zavain Dar and Obvious Ventures managing director Nan Li are joining the company board of directors.

“We’ve seen this playbook before. Bringing to bear multiple technologies to remove human bias from the pursuit of human health. We’re thrilled to co-lead the Series A with Obvious Ventures and back a truly bold vision with the potential for massive impact” said Dar.

With this round of funding, LabGenius will be scaling its team, expanding the scope of its discovery platform, and initiate an internal asset development program. And through this internal asset development program, the company will evolve novel antibody fragments that are capable of treating conditions that cannot be addressed using conventional antibody formats.

“We have high conviction that computational approaches to protein engineering hold tremendous promise. After researching the space and meeting many companies, we believe that LabGenius is the clear breakout leader. We are beyond excited to co-lead the Series A and help the company realize their very ambitious vision to discover new protein therapies using AI,” explained Li.

After discovery and characterization, LabGenius’ proprietary molecules are taken to the clinic through its partnerships with pharma companies. Based in London, UK, the LabGenius team includes experts in protein engineering, synthetic biology, software engineering, data science, and robotic automation.

“Protein therapeutics have an unparalleled potential to both treat disease and alleviate human suffering. By transforming how these drugs are discovered, we have a shot at improving the lives of countless people. Being able to robustly engineer novel therapeutic proteins has immense commercial and societal value. The discovery of protein therapeutics has historically been highly artisanal, relying heavily on humans for both experimental design and execution. This dependence has proved limiting because, as a species, we’re cognitively incapable of fully grasping the complexity of biological systems,” added LabGenius Founder and CEO Dr. James Field.

Lux Capital is a venture firm that manages $2.5 billion in assets across multiple funds. And Obvious Ventures was co-founded by Ev Williams, James Joaquin, and Vishal Vasishth with Andrew Beebe and Nan Li now also serving as Managing Directors.