twoXAR, Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has raised $10 million in Series A financing led by SoftBank Ventures, a SoftBank Group early stage venture capital arm. Joining SoftBank Ventures is the Andreessen Horowitz Bio Fund and OS Fund. The proceeds will be used to build the company’s drug pipeline through partnerships and accelerate preclinical development of existing candidates. With this financing, JP Lee, Managing Director at SoftBank Ventures, and Vijay Pande, PhD, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, have been appointed to the twoXAR Board of Directors.
“SoftBank Ventures invests to accelerate the Information Revolution and is increasingly interested in the application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. twoXAR is a clear leader in the rapidly growing AI-based drug discovery market and we are proud to lead this new financing round and support the company’s commitment to expanding treatment options for rare and common diseases,” said JP. “The company’s AI-driven discovery platform has the potential to transform the identification of new medicines and dramatically improve the success rates of preclinical development. The twoXAR team has already established a number of collaborations with global biopharmaceutical leaders and demonstrated how candidates identified by their technology translate to successful in vivo studies.”
Using its proprietary AI-driven platform, twoXAR rapidly identifies drug candidates for in vivo testing in weeks rather than years and has demonstrated in vivo success rates significantly greater than those of traditional approaches across therapeutic areas including diseases such as liver cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. twoXAR is building a pipeline of novel, proprietary drug candidates through partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies, drug developers, and investors.
“The application of AI in drug discovery has shifted from speculative to practical and will be a major driver of drug development efficiencies in the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Andrew A. Radin, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of twoXAR. “We are pleased to be aligned with SoftBank Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and OS Fund who are leaders in investing in applications of AI in biology and bring operational and business development expertise to twoXAR as we continue to build our pipeline of drug programs.”
Traditional drug discovery and development is estimated to take 10-15 years and filter through 10,000 molecules for every one that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, creating uncertainty over a protracted period around which a drug candidate may be approved. AI-based platforms, such as twoXAR’s, are helping create portfolios of drug programs more efficiently through faster, more predictive models than traditional approaches. This can accelerate the entire drug development process, decrease risk and substantially reduce overall costs.
“The efficiency in drug discovery resulting from computational models provides an opportunity to build a portfolio of drug programs that traditional discovery methods don’t allow for without hundreds of millions of dollars and many years,” said Judy Lewent, Retired EVP & CFO of Merck and twoXAR Business Advisory Board member. “twoXAR’s approach to developing their pipeline through partnerships and spin-outs enables them to apply their technology broadly across therapeutic areas, put drug development in the hands of expert drug developers, and create a portfolio of drug programs that significantly increases the probability of a twoXAR-discovered treatment benefiting patients.”
twoXAR previously raised $4.3 million in seed financing from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, CLI Ventures, and the Stanford-StartX Fund.
This article first appeared on businesswire.