Schrödinger raises $110M to fuel drug discovery with machine learning

by Brian Nordli
May 20, 2019
Schrodinger Stock photo
Image via shutterstock

Computers and statistical models may not be able to eradicate disease on their own, but they can lead to new drugs that can.

Schrödinger, a company applying artificial intelligence to propel drug research, announced this week that it has raised $110 million in a Series E funding to further boost its efforts. The New York City-based company plans to use the round to expand its drug discovery platform and pipeline.

The goal is to use the computational platform to make drug discovery more efficient and more effective, with a lower cost and a higher probability of success.”

Those advancements are designed to help aid researchers in the discovery of new medicines that treat diseases, said Ramy Farid, Schrödinger’s CEO in a statement.  

“Our platform has been validated again and again across hundreds of targets in real-world drug discovery projects,” Farid said. “We are committed to leveraging the platform to speed the discovery of new medicines, and we’re delighted to receive such broad support from investors to further our mission.”

Founded in 1990, Schrödinger combines physics-based research and machine learning to allow drug researchers to drill down to the atomic level to observe how a drug will bind with a molecule in a simulation. Researchers can then run a series of simulations to model and predict the potency, solubility and selectivity of the drug.

In short, the platform is designed to do replicate the work of a medicinal chemist synthesizing a drug compound in a lab, said Shi-Yi Liu, Schrödinger's Senior VP of corporate communications, in an interview with Built In.    

“The goal is to use the computational platform to make drug discovery more efficient and more effective, with a lower cost and a higher probability of success,” Liu said.

Schrödinger’s platform has led to the discovery of two FDA-approved drugs, along with several in the clinical stage and more than two dozen in various phases of discovery and development, according to the company.

With this funding round, Schrödinger plans to continue building out its drug discovery pipeline, as well as further research and development to build out its platform.

The round included investments from new investors Invus, Pavillion Capital and Oculus co-founder Michael Antonov through his investment fund, Tubus Management. Previous investors Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, WuXi, Deerfield Management and GV also participated, among others.

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