France-based Aqemia, a deep physics and AI enabled drug discovery pipeline company, announced on Wednesday, October 19, that it has raised €30 million in a Series A round of funding led by Eurazeo and Bpifrance’s Large Venture Fund. Existing investor Elaia also participated in the round.
Aqemia says that the funding will support its core mission to massively scale drug discovery through a first-in-class technological platform combining quantum-inspired physics and machine learning.
Maximilien Levesque, co-founder and CEO of Aqemia, says, “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.”
Aqemia’s Growth Phase
Three years after being spun off from Ecole Normale Superieure, Aqemia says it has grown into a team of 50 scientists working at the crossroads of Chemistry and Artificial Intelligence, as well as a launchpad for ideas.
The Launchpad platform has proven successful in multiple disclosed and undisclosed collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Janssen, and Servier, with revenues in millions of euros.
A proprietary pipeline of several drug discovery projects has already been launched using this technology, ranging from the in-vitro to the in-vivo phases, especially in oncology and immuno-oncology.
Levesque says, “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.”
Aqemia says it generates its own data by using quantum physics algorithms derived from 12 years of research at Cambridge University, Oxford University, École Normale Superieure, and CNRS, unlike AI-based platforms that require experimental data to train.
Emmanuelle Martiano, co-founder and COO of Aqemia, says, “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.”
The aim of Aqemia is to uncover multiple proprietary new drug candidates by optimising and accelerating early drug discovery projects on a massive scale. Through a constellation of Biotech spin-offs or with partners, Aqemia plans to advance a range of candidates across a variety of targets and indications into clinical trials alone.
Antoine Zins, Investment Director at Eurazeo, says, “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 at Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, says, “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.”