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AI Drug Discovery Platform Quris Unveils Itself with $9 million Seed Round

October 18, 2021

Artificial intelligence company Quris said it raised $9 million in seed funding as it launched what it called the first clinical AI platform designed to predict which drug candidates will safely work in humans with the expectation of improving efficacy and cutting drug development costs.

Photo: Isaac Bentwich, CEO of Quris

Quris uses AI-powered miniaturized “patients-on-a-chip” to avoid the risks and costs of failed clinical trials and eliminate the reliance on ineffective animal testing.

“AI-driven drug discovery has become the leading frontier for pharma innovation. But while AI applications in pharma have surged, a core piece needed to solve the drug discovery puzzle has been missing and most novel drugs still fail clinical trials—costing pharma companies more than $30 billion annually,” said Quris CEO Isaac Bentwich. “Quris is the first AI platform to predict which drug candidates will safely work in humans, filling a critical gap in clinical prediction.”

Focused initially on rare genetic diseases that cannot be modeled in animals, Quris said that it is prepping the first drug developed on the platform for clinical trials in 2022. The first Quris drug addresses Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of autism and intellectual disabilities worldwide.

In partnership with The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute (NYSCF), Quris is developing a fully automated, self-training AI platform that it said better predicts clinical safety and efficacy for new drug candidates. Working with the independent non-profit research institute dedicated to translating stem cell research into clinical breakthroughs and cures for patients, Quris will be able to benefit from the foundation’s stem-cell automation technology.

Quris’ chip-on-chip platform uses a distinct combination of low-cost, disposable “miniaturized biology” chips and novel real-time nano-sensor and nano-circulation chips to continuously train the Quris AI engine and drug candidate safety and efficacy predictor. Combining the power of the NYSCF and Quris’ AI-based clinical prediction, high-throughput screening and stem cell disease modeling, the Quris platform will be trained on known safe and toxic drugs, so it can then rapidly screen thousands of potential drug formulations on hundreds of genetically diverse, miniaturized “patients-on-a-chip” to test efficacy at a fraction of the cost.

“We are at the tipping point of the modernization of drug discovery,” said Robert Langer, member of the Quris advisory board and a co-founder of Moderna. “I think the Quris platform could be of significant value to pharma companies and the health of society at large.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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