Colorcon invests in AI-centric drug discovery

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(artisteer/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(artisteer/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags Artificial intelligence Drug discovery Investment

The pharmaceutical technology investment fund is partnering with and financing Atomwise, a company that provides AI solutions for drug discovery

Colorcon Ventures, a $50m venture fund of Colorcon Inc., is investing in Atomwise, a company that offers artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for drug discovery efforts. The firm reportedly has inveted the first deep-learning AI technology for structure-based drug design.

Atomwise’s technology, AtomNet, reportedly eliminates the barriers of physicial screening, which limit the effectiveness of traditional methods in small-molecule drug discovery. According to Atomwise, the technology is capable of screening libraries of more than 16b molecules in under two days.

Martti Hedman, Colorcon CEO, said Atomwise’s technology fits with the strategic focus of the Colorcon Venture fund, which is developing transformational pharma technology solutions.

R&D productivity is a major pain point for the pharmaceutical industr​y,” Hedman said. “Atomwise is the leading company using AI for small molecule drug discovery, enabling significant time and cost savings for our global customer base; we embrace Atomwise’s approach to partnering with leading pharmaceutical companies in their research & development efforts and are open to strategic alignment with our customers where appropriate​.” 

Abraham Heifets, Atomwise’s co-founder and CEO, said his staff is fortunate to have the backing of Colorcon Venture.

We are pleased to have Colorcon Venture's support as we scale Atomwise. With their support, we will be able to further our mission to make better medicines faster and improve the lives of billions of people,​" Heifets said.

According to a Colorcon spokesperson, Colorcon Ventures has, through collaboration its partners at Touchdown Ventures, tracked the AI sector for the past 12 months. Company representatives first met the Atomwise team at a health conference earlier this year, and Colorcon felt Atomwise’s expertise in small molecule drug discovery aligns well with their organization.

Colorcon Ventures launched its $50m venture capital fund last year to invest in innovative companies and solutions that are transforming the pharmaceutical industry. Focus areas include technologies in R&D, manufacturing, supply chain, and new dosage forms for drug delivery.

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