TwoXAR Lands $10M to Ramp Up AI-Based Drug Discovery Work

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Drug discovery startup twoXAR has raised $10 million in funding to support its efforts to build a pipeline of drug candidates found by its proprietary artificial intelligence technology.

SoftBank Ventures led the Series A round of financing, and was joined by the Andreessen Horowitz Bio Fund and OS Fund.

Palo Alto, CA-based twoXAR has developed a drug discovery computing platform that it says is faster, less expensive, and more accurate than traditional laboratory approaches. The company claims it can identify drug candidates for testing “in weeks rather than years.” The company adds that the technology has yielded potential drugs in a wide range of diseases including liver cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.

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A growing number of companies are attracting investor interest for their AI-based drug discovery technologies. Earlier this month, BioXcel Therapeutics raised $60 million in an initial public stock offering. Branford, CT-based BioXcel says it will use the IPO proceeds to support clinical trials for two drugs it developed with its AI technology. In January, Engine Biosciences raised $10 million to further build its AI technology. The San Francisco company aims to develop drugs on its own, as well as with partners.

TwoXAR also aims to work with pharma industry partners. In a blog posted Monday, CEO and co-founder Andrew A. Radin (pictured above, right) said the company plans to outlicense the drug candidates discovered by its technology. He added that twoXAR will use the new capital to keep working on drugs it has already found, including some that have already advanced to pre-clinical testing. Radin did not specify which diseases those drugs are targeting.

Prior to the Series A round, twoXAR had raised $4.3 million in seed financing from investors that included Andreessen Horowitz, CLI Ventures, and Stanford University’s StartX Fund.

Photo by twoXAR.