Based out of Singapore, Gero develops new drugs for ageing and other complicated disorders using its proprietary developed artificial intelligence (AI) platform. Recently, the company has secured $2.2 million (€1.9 million) in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised since Gero’s founding to over $7.5 million (€6.4 million).
Gero’s founder Peter Fedichev, said, “We are happy with the recognition and support from these strategic investors who themselves are acknowledged leaders in the fields of AI and biotechnology. This will help us attain the necessary knowledge at the junction of biological sciences and AI/ML technologies that is necessary for the radical acceleration of drug discovery battling the toughest medical challenges of the 21st century. We hope that the technology will soon lead to a meaningful healthspan extension and quality of life improvements ”
Yury Melnichek joins Gero
The round was led by Bulba Ventures with participation from previous investors and serial entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, IT, and AI. Notably, the co-founder of Bulba Ventures Yury Melnichek joined Gero’s Board of Directors.
“Gero’s insights and know-how when it comes to using big data and machine learning in biology is creating new opportunities in the search for cures of diseases that were previously considered incurable, primarily for ageing,” says Yury Melnichek, co-founder of Bulba Ventures, a successful venture capital investor in the field of machine learning and AI.
The company intends to use the investment to further develop its AI-based platform for analysing clinical and genetic data to identify treatments for some of the most complicated diseases, such as chronic aging-related diseases, mental disorders, and others.
First anti-aging test in 2017
Back in 2017, Gero did its first anti-ageing test on mice in VibioSphen (France) demonstrating its ability in finding solutions for complicated conditions.
How does Gero’s technology work?
The company uses large datasets of medical and genetic information from hundreds of thousands of people acquired via the UK’s BioBanks and created a proprietary database of blood samples collected throughout the last 15 years of the patients’ lives.
Using this data, the Gero.ai platform determined the protein that circulates in people’s blood whose removal or blockage should lead to rejuvenation. Subsequent experiments at the National University of Singapore involved aged animals and demonstrated mortality delay (life-extension) and functional improvements after a single experimental treatment.
In the future, this new drug could enable patients to recover after a stroke and could help cancer patients in their fight against accelerated ageing resulting from chemotherapy. Right now, Gero’s platform is also being used to develop drugs in other areas of potential therapies for COVID-19.
“Gero collects large datasets of biomedical data (including clinical histories and genomics) of animals and humans and applies advanced machine learning methods and AI to discover the underlying reasons for human ageing. The project’s team works with key experts in the field of biology of ageing and clinical medicine, and this provides answers to the most important practical questions and translates the received knowledge into medical technologies to combat ageing”, says Dr. Nir Barzilai, Director and leading aging researcher of the Einstein-Institute for Aging Research; Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Collaborated with Yuri Aulchenko
Founded in 2012 by Maxim Kholin and Peter Fedichev, Gero has published a paper with Yuri Aulchenko, PhD CSO and Founder of PolyOmica, Honorary Professor of the University of Edinburgh and used genomics in AI drug discovery as well.
It’s worth mentioning that Gero collaborates with researchers from the leading global institutions such as the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Edinburgh, National University of Singapore, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop new therapies.
Main image credits: Gero