12-Jan-2022 - Debiopharm S.A.

AI-enabled drug research reduces time and cost of drug development

Debiopharm invests in VeriSIM Life’s $15m series A round

Debiopharm, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company, announced their co-investment in California-based start-upVeriSIM Life’s $15 Million Series A Round to advance their mission to accelerate drug development via technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI). VeriSIM Life’s computational platform reduces time and cost of drug development as well as reduces the need for animal testing that, in the vast majority of cases, does not translate well to humans. Debiopharm’s co-investment in VeriSIM contributes to the growth plan of the start-up and will help to expand and establish transformational partnerships with industry and academia using their first-in-class ‘virtual drug development engine’ BIOiSIMTM. The investment aligns with Debiopharm’s focus to invest in digital health solutions that improve the cancer patient journey, transform pharmaceutical R&D, and shift healthcare towards a more patient-centric approach.

With the financing round led by Morpheus Ventures, Debiopharm Innovation Fund joins new investors including Colorcon Ventures along with existing investors OCA Ventures, Intel Capital, Serra Ventures and Susa Ventures. Founded in 2017 by Jo Varshney, DVM and PhD alongside a cross-functional team of pharmaceutical scientists, software engineers and AI/ML and simulation experts, the start-up offers a range of translational-based solutions, customized for pre-clinical and clinical programs.

“We’re moving into a time where AI-based technology will play a critical role in drug development. We absolutely need to reduce the time, costs & risks of drug development in order to be more efficient – that’s exactly what the BIOiSIMTM is proven to do,” said Tanja Dowe, CEO of the Debiopharm Innovation Fund. “The value of using this AI-based platform is the potential decrease in the need for animal testing and the acceleration of the pre-clinical, translational stage, helping drug research companies to more quickly select which early-stage medicines will most likely benefit patients and cure their disease.”

Many drugs tested in animals fail to pass human clinical trials, resulting in delayed development and high costs. VeriSIM’s BIOiSIM platform, driven by AI and machine learning (ML), de-risks R&D decisions by providing meaningful insights much earlier in the drug development process with unprecedented accuracy and scalability. VeriSIM’s platform solves this decade-old translatability problem within the drug development phase and ensures clinical success of drugs intended for highly unmet needs. With its first-in-class platform, VeriSIM is transforming the way pharmaceutical and biotech companies address the most challenging diseases impacting humankind.

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    VeriSIM Life

    VeriSIM Life is building AI enabled biosimulation models. VeriSIM will tackle one of the biggest obstacles of drug development: animal testing for drug development. Animal testing is slow, ethically questionable, and doesn't act as much of a filter: 92% of all drug candidates that pass this ... more