AI-driven biotech firm Insilico Medicine raises $255 million in new financing

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based company Insilico Medicine, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery and development, has raised $255 million in a new funding round led by U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus, it said on Tuesday.

The fundraising attracted nearly 20 investors, the company said, including CPE, Sequoia Capital China and Mirae Asset Capital.

Existing investors, including Qiming Venture Partners, Sinovation Ventures and Baidu Ventures, also joined in the funding round.

Insilico did not disclose its valuation in the release.

Min Fang, a managing director at Warburg Pincus, will join the company’s board of directors after the fundraising, the company said.

Founded in 2014, Insilico develops AI systems that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning (RL), transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques.

It also develops software for a generation of synthetic biological data, target identification, and the prediction of clinical trial outcomes.

The new funds raised will be used to progress Insilico’s current therapeutic programs into human clinical trials, initiate new programs for novel and difficult targets, and further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities.

The company is known for its 2019 research about its development of an AI system that was able to design a drug in 21 days and named a 2020 breakthrough technology by MIT Technology Review.

It has raised over $310 million from pharmaceutical, and technology investors since its inception, it said.

Reporting by Kane Wu; editing by Bernadette Baum