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Health & Pharma

AI drug discovery firm Quris closes $28M funding round

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Article ImageDual-headquartered firm looking to treat Fragile X syndrome

Drug discovery startup Quris has closed a seed funding round of $28 million.

The latest round is inclusive of the initial $9 million the company raised late last year.

Led by Welltech Ventures with participation from iAngels, GlenRock Capital, Quris plans to use the funds to expand both its team and its research and development.

“Now is the time to tap technology to transform drug development and end the costly cycle of failed clinical trials,” said Isaac Bentwich, CEO at Quris.

“The added investor support is expected to help Quris grow the team and partnerships needed to create a clear view to predict the clinical safety of drugs for individual patients. With the technological advances at our disposal, we can close the clinical prediction gap.”

The startup launched its BioAI platform at the turn of the year, which can be used in drug discovery as part of clinical prediction efforts.

The company, dual-headquartered in Boston and Israel, is looking to develop a fully automated, self-training AI platform that “better predicts clinical safety and efficacy for new drug candidates” in a partnership with The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute.

Quris is currently working to ready one of its first developed drugs for clinical trials, designed to treat Fragile X syndrome (FXS), a chromosome-related condition where affected individuals tend to have limited intellectual functions.

“We think Quris is primed to forge the next critical phase in novel drug discovery and its AI platform will also help the industry rethink how and when to best use existing drugs,” said Amir Alroy and Galit Horovitz, co-founders of Welltech Ventures.

A new year doesn’t stop the AI drug discovery cash from flowing

Startups in the AI drug discovery field had a bumper 2021 in terms of fundraising, according to research from Emersion Insights, netting $2.1 billion in total in the first half of the year alone.

Quris is among the first to announce capital raised.

However, its $28 million is dwarfed by the prospective $5.2 billion agreement penned by rival Exscientia with pharma giant Sanofi.

The companies plan to create up to 15 novel small molecule candidates to combat cancer and immune-mediated diseases.

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