Machine-learning-driven drug discovery and development company Insitro announced today that it raised $143 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round.
San Francisco-based Insitro said in a news release that it plans to use the funds to build its foundations of technology and automation, enabling data generation at a larger scale, expanding its capabilities for creating predictive models of human disease.
The company also plans to use the money for helping to identify patient segmentation biomarkers and advancing therapeutics in genetically-defined patient populations. Other uses of the funds include building partnerships along the R&D chain to accelerate drug discovery and development.
Insitro is working on applying bioengineering technologies to creating data sets that allow for machine learning methods to assist in pharmaceutical R&D.
“Since our founding, insitro has been focused on building a data-driven drug discovery and development company,” Insitro founder & CEO Daphne Koller said in the release. “We have spent the last two years advancing several critical components of our business. First, we have assembled a world-class team of computational scientists and engineers, biologists and translational scientists, drug developers and company builders, all uniquely working in true partnership.
“Second, we have built a powerful platform for producing disease-relevant biological data at scale. Finally, we have made important scientific progress on the development of ML-driven disease models that can predict human clinical outcomes and on the application of these models to our first two therapeutic areas in liver and CNS disease. With this financing, as well as milestones we have achieved through our strategic partnership with Gilead (NSDQ:GILD), we are in a strong position to continue executing on our vision.”
Andreessen Horowitz led the financing round, with new investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and funds/accounts advised by T.Rowe Price Associates also participating. Funds managed by BlackRock, Casdin Capital, HOF Capital, WuXi AppTec’s corporate venture fund and other undisclosed investors also joined in.
Existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Foresite Capital, GV, Third Rock Ventures, Two Signma Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments also participated.
Additionally, Insitro announced that Andreessen Horowitz general partner Vijay Pande was appointed to its board of directors.
“In the two years since its inception, Insitro has already emerged as a leader in bridging between data science and engineering to transform the landscape of drug discovery,” Pande said. “They are developing novel approaches that combine tools from cell biology, bioengineering, and data science to generate data at the quality and scale required to apply and expand the power of machine learning. I am excited to work with this incredible team as we realize the next generation of drug discovery and development.”