Rare Daily Staff
Recursion Pharmaceuticals said it completed a $60 million series B financing that will be used to use artificial intelligence to analyze models and images of thousands of diseases in human cells to identify new drug targets and drug candidates at “an unprecedented scale and pace.”
Recursion initially employed its novel discovery platform for drug repurposing across models of rare genetic diseases. The company has recently expanded the platform to enable target discovery and new chemical entity discovery, as well as to identify potential treatments in new indication areas like inflammation, immuno-oncology, infectious disease and aging. Recursion has already generated more than 30 discovery programs across more than two dozen diseases, with its lead program expected to enter the clinic in 2018.
The company said it is building the world’s largest biological image dataset with more than 2 million new images per week. The dataset is being used to train neural networks and apply other sophisticated computational techniques to identify changes in thousands of cellular and subcellular features in the presence of various biological disturbances.
“We are identifying potential new therapies in less time and for less money than ever before by eschewing human bias, embracing empiricism, and treating cellular biology as a system too complex and interconnected to be broken down into simple pieces,” said Chris Gibson, co-founder and CEO of Recursion. “These funds will enable us to continue our work in drug repurposing, including our partnerships with multiple major pharmaceutical companies, while also building out our own internal pipeline of new drugs and expanding into new therapeutic areas and discovery partnerships.”
Ultimately, Gibson said, the effort is expected to allow the company to make reliable inferences about the trillions of relationships between genes, proteins, and chemicals.”
The venture capital firm Data Collective led the round and its Managing Partner Zachary Bogue will join Recursion’s board of directors.
October 4, 2017