Paris-based Aqemia raises €30m to scale its deep physics and AI enabled drug discovery pipeline

Paris-based Aqemia raises €30m to scale its deep physics and AI enabled drug discovery pipeline

Published: 19-10-2022 11:50:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 1461 | Tags:

Paris-based Aqemia has raised €30 million in a Series A funding round led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance through its Large Venture fund, with the participation of Elaia its historic investor. This financing will further support Aqemia’s core mission: to massively scale drug discovery, through a first-in-class technological platform combining quantum-inspired physics and machine learning.

In three years, Aqemia has grown from a spin-off of Ecole Normale Superieure to an A-team of 50 people at the crossroads of Chemistry and Artificial Intelligence, and has built its innovation engine - Aqemia’s Launchpad. The Launchpad has proven successful in several disclosed and undisclosed collaborations worth up to millions of euros with leading pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Janssen and Servier.

This unique technology has already resulted in the launch of a proprietary pipeline of several drug discovery projects, which now range from in vitro to in vivo phases, especially in oncology and immuno-oncology.

Maximilien Levesque, Co-founder and CEO, Aqemia: “After repeated successes in generating very efficiently innovative new chemical matter in collaboration with large pharmaceutical companies around the world, we are now excited to leverage this fundraising to accelerate towards Aqemia’s mission: build a massive pipeline of wholly-owned drug discovery projects. We are thrilled to welcome Eurazeo and Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund onboard, as they are known for investing in the finest French scale-ups, and to receive again backing from Elaia, the first French Deeptech VC investor.” 

Unlike AI-based platforms that need experimental data to train on, Aqemia addresses drug discovery projects from their earliest stage by generating its own data using unique quantum physics algorithms derived from 12 years of research at univ. Cambridge and Oxford (UK), and École Normale Supérieure and CNRS.

Emmanuelle Martiano, Co-founder and COO, Aqemia: “The unprecedented pace – a whopping 10,000x faster while maintaining costs - and accuracy of our deep physics algorithms, adding up to our generative AI, creates a unique combination that permits to generate innovative new drug candidates more quickly, and scale drug discovery projects as technology projects. We are continuously recruiting to address our next technology and drug discovery challenges.”

Aqemia's ambition is to optimize and accelerate early drug discovery projects on a massive scale in order to uncover dozens of proprietary new drug candidates. Those candidates will fuel a diversified therapeutic pipeline across a variety of targets and indications that Aqemia intends to advance into clinical trials alone through a constellation of Biotech spin-offs or with partners as the case may be.

Antoine Zins, Investment Director, Eurazeo: "I strongly believe that Aqemia has unparalleled power to shift the drug discovery paradigm. They have not only solved the missing data paradox in the discovery process with deep physics and AI, they can also generate leads at a faster pace than any discovery platform before them. We are very excited to be part of the adventure by their side”.

Laurent Higueret, Senior Investment Director, Large Venture Fund, Bpifrance: "Early drug discovery is a long, costly and cumbersome process with often unsatisfactory outcomes for sponsors and ultimately patients. Aqemia’s ambition is to change all that by bringing together deep physics and AI into a powerful computational engine that has the potential to generate promising new development candidates at scale. Through this investment, we are thrilled to be part of this exciting journey and further expand Bpifrance portfolio in deeptech and AI.”