Drug discovery timelines accelerated as Iktos develops AI and drug capabilities with series A funding

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Drug discovery Artificial intelligence Data management AI series A funding

Iktos, a company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) for new drug discovery has closed a €15.5 million series A funding round.

The company says it will now be able to develop its AI and drug capabilities and expand on its existing SaaS software. In addition, it is launching Iktos Robotics an end-to-end drug discovery platform combining AI with the automation of chemical syntheses that it says will significantly accelerate drug discovery timelines.

The funding was co-led by new investors M Ventures and Debiopharm Innovation Fund and participation from Omnes Capital.

Within the financing Iktos will additionally extend the application of its solutions to biological products including peptides and antibodies. It says this will allow it to be one of the first companies to offer fully integrated, drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry.

The company says the early stages of drug development – primarily identification of therapeutic target to first clinical entry – takes on average five years, requiring an investment of $100million per drug candidate.

The artificial intelligence solutions that Iktos say they have developed are aimed at considerably speeding up the drug discovery process, while increasing the probability of success of drug candidates reaching clinical development. This approach is already validated by Iktos through more than 50 academic and industrial collaborations, with multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies such as Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Servier, Ono and Teijin to name only a few.

Yann Gaston-Mathé, Iktos president and co-founder said: “The search for new drug matter is still a laborious and uncertain quest of exploring a chemical universe composed of virtually infinite number of potential molecules. The application of artificial intelligence to early drug discovery and design offers the possibility of a radical change for researchers exploring such chemical universe.

“The technologies we have developed have been enabling multiple partners in realizing this promise. We welcome our new, experienced, investor syndicate and fresh financing that will allow us to execute our plan of being the preferred partner for the industry to address their drug development needs.”

M Ventures said shortening drug discovery cycle times and accelerating processes to clinical entry at lower cost has been a high priority for the industry and clinicians alike.

Investment associate, Nadiya Ishnazarova, said: “We believe Iktos with its mature technology across generative AI and synthesis planning, and advancements in building fully integrated drug discovery platform has the potential to provide a competitive edge for the pharma industry as AI/ML becomes a core feature of research and development.” 

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