Generate Biomedicines Announces Raise of $370 Million to Advance its Drug Generation Platform
Cambridge, Mass, November 18, 2021 – Generate Biomedicines, whose machine learning-powered Generative Biology platform can rapidly invent new drugs across a wide range of protein modalities and previously undiscoverable protein therapeutics, today announced it has raised $370 Million in a Series B financing to advance the development of its novel drug generation platform. The Generate platform can rapidly generate antibodies, peptides, enzymes, cell and gene therapies to meet any therapeutic need. This approach enables Generate to create previously impossible therapeutics and to do so with unprecedented speed and scale. The financing round included the company’s founder, Flagship Pioneering, along with several institutional co-investors, including: a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Morningside Ventures, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
“Generate is deploying machine learning at scale to understand the genetic code underlying the function of proteins. We are pioneering the field of Generative Biology – a revolutionary approach to drug development that allows us to program novel protein therapeutics capable of performing almost any desired biological function,” said Mike Nally, Chief Executive Officer, Generate Biomedicines and CEO-Partner, Flagship Pioneering. “Since launch, we have made incredible strides in advancing our technology platform and will have multiple preclinical programs by year-end with several in the clinic in 2023. With financial support from a world-class group of committed co-investors, we will rapidly scale our organization and begin to realize the transformational power of our platform.”
This financing will enable Generate Biomedicines to advance and evolve the platform as well as rapidly scale the organization with top-tier scientific and computational talent. Today the company has approximately 80 employees with plans to scale to roughly 500 over the next two years. In addition, Generate is building two state-of-the-art facilities that will significantly expand the company’s computational biology, machine learning, data generation, and wet lab capabilities.
“In the future, therapeutic proteins will be generated, rather than discovered,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Board Member of Generate, and General Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “Given the vast number of proteins that could exist, current approaches to protein therapeutic discovery can only tap into a minute subset of possible proteins. Our Generative Biology platform gives us the ability to generate de novo, antibodies, peptides, enzymes, cytokines, and other undiscoverable protein therapeutics with optimized functions. This represents a remarkable leap forward in the field of protein therapeutics.”
“The leaps made in machine learning and computing power are ushering in a new era of drug generation – no longer will we be dependent on traditional approaches to drug discovery,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Generate Biomedicines and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “Generate Biomedicines has demonstrated the ability to create computer-designed biotherapeutics for potentially any disease target. We are pleased that this group of co-investors has joined us in building this pioneering company as we scale Generate Biomedicines and its platform to realize the potential of powerful programmable medicines for patients.”
About Generative Biology
Generative Biology represents a fundamental shift in therapeutic development that is driven by machine intelligence. This new approach leaves traditional trial and error methods of drug discovery behind and will usher in a new era of programmable drug engineering. Rather than only looking for opportunities from what’s observable in the lab, Generate Biomedicines is creating therapeutic opportunities by identifying specific biological processes involved in disease that can be modulated with a wide range of protein modalities—from short peptides to complex antibodies, enzymes, and cytokines. But the promise of Generative Biology goes beyond existing proteins found in nature and can generate entirely novel, de novo proteins that are purpose-built to address an existing or emerging therapeutic need.
By training Generate Biomedicine’s technology platform on the entire compendium of protein structures and sequences found in nature—supplemented with proprietary experimental data—the company can learn the generalizable rules by which a linear amino acid sequence encodes protein structure and function. The company’s machine learning algorithms analyze hundreds of millions of known proteins, looking for statistical patterns linking amino acid sequence, structure, and function. The Generate Biomedicines’ platform has uncovered generalizable principles of protein complexes, allowing the prediction of novel binders for desired targets and it can recode protein sequences while retaining structure and function and evading immune activation.
The company’s technology platform is also capable of generating antibodies that bind specific epitopes on desired targets, allowing in silico generation of potent antibodies on demand. It can also overcome challenging aspects of antibody discovery, generating functional and agonistic antibodies and also antibodies to integral membrane proteins, multiprotein complexes, and other traditionally hard-to-hit targets.
Generative Biology will enable therapeutic achievements never before possible, creating entirely new ways to treat all types of diseases, drastically increase the success rate, and reduce the time required for drug discovery.
About Generate Biomedicines
Generate Biomedicines is the first drug generation company, pioneering a machine learning-powered biomedicines platform with the potential to generate new drugs on demand across a wide range of biologic modalities—from short peptides to complex antibodies, enzymes, cytokines, and yet to be described protein compositions. Generate Biomedicines’ machine learning platform can drastically improve the speed at which targets and therapeutics are identified and validated, the specificity of target engagement by generated proteins, and the cost of identifying and developing clinical candidates. The company’s multimodality Generative Biology platform represents a potentially fundamental shift in what’s possible in the field of therapeutic development, addressing key challenges of drug discovery and drastically expanding the available search space for novel biomedicines. Generate Biomedicines was founded by Flagship Pioneering after two years of foundational research in its Labs unit and launched in 2020. Learn more about Generate Biomedicines by visiting https://generatebiomedicines.com/ or following the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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