AI Startup Raises $5.3M to Pioneer Stem Cell Biology

Somite creates synthetic human cells to improve cell therapy for diseases and aims to be the ‘OpenAI of stem cell biology

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

April 26, 2024

2 Min Read
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Somite has raised $5.3 million in pre-seed funding to fund its ambitions of becoming the “OpenAI of stem cell biology.”

Founded in October 2023, Somit is building AI models that generate synthetic examples of human tissue for use in cell therapy. These artificial tissues can be used to develop and test potential treatments before applying them to human patients.

Israeli venture capital fund TechAviv led the pre-seed round which included investors Next Coast Ventures, Texas Venture Partners and Lerer Hippeau, among others.

The funds will be put toward the development of Somite's AlphaStem AI platform as well as bringing the company’s therapeutics to phase 1 clinical trials. The startup will also create its own lab to expand its research efforts.

Cell therapy involves living cells treating or preventing diseases by replacing damaged cells, providing missing or defective proteins or stimulating the body's immune system.

Somite wants AI to power cell therapy treatments by creating what are effectively digital twins of human cells that would mirror real embryo development and behavior.

The startup’s foundation models generate the samples, leveraging sources of information like databases of scRNA-Seq and gene expressions as training data.

Somite’s models then power its AlphaStem platform, which generates insights on synthetic samples by extracting information from the digital times.

Related:AI System Can Detect Parkinson's Disease from Brain Waves, Study Finds

The startup believes its synthetic cell therapies have the potential to cure a range of diseases that relate to a deficiency of cell populations, including obesity, diabetes and muscular dystrophies.

"The future of medicine lies at the intersection of AI and biology," said Micha Breakstone, Somite’s CEO and co-founder. "With Somite's AlphaStem platform, we have the unique opportunity to both unlock the governing principles of cell differentiation and introduce therapies to cure tens of millions of people. This funding round is only one of many first steps in our exciting journey."

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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