– Drug discovery startup Unnatural Products, Inc. pairing AI with chemistry to create treatments for drug targets raise $6M in funding led by ARTIS Ventures.
– Unnatural Products uses a combination of machine learning and parallel chemistry to change the way we think about treating disease
Today ARTIS Ventures has led a $6 million seed round for Unnatural Products, Inc., a Santa Cruz, CA-based drug discovery startup pairing AI with chemistry to create treatments for drug targets that aren’t amenable to our current therapeutic strategies. Other investors include Abstract Ventures, Asset Management Ventures, Better Ventures, Blue Bear Ventures, and Rising Tide Fund.
The company is currently focused on oncology, though their technology can be applied to a wide variety of urgent clinical needs such as inflammatory diseases. The funds will be used to grow the team, continue platform development, and push forward the company’s pipeline of oncology programs.
UNP has created a unique platform that closely marries prediction with experiment. This rapid, intelligent learning loop has allowed UNP to solve key challenges, such as cell permeability, that have previously been the roadblock in macrocycle development. Though currently focused on select oncology targets, this technology can be applied to a wide variety of urgent clinical needs such as inflammatory diseases.
Why It Matters
“UNP’s machine-led discovery of macrocycle drugs combined with their chemistry platform is a unique approach in the drug discovery space,” said Vasudev Bailey, PhD, partner at ARTIS Ventures. “This has the potential to hugely impact drug development with the ability to address the 80 percent of drug targets for which there are currently no therapeutic strategies.”
“In many ways our understanding of human biology, particularly in the role of certain drivers of cancer, has outstripped our chemistry capabilities,” said Cameron Pye, CEO and co-founder of Unnatural Products, Inc. “At UNP, we’re focused on one of nature’s solutions to this problem, macrocycles, to expand our chemical toolbox. A lot of the high-hanging fruit in drug discovery has been called ‘undruggable,’ and we’re working to change that.”