Recursion drug discovery tech gets new US$50M; partners NVIDIA

 Recursion drug discovery tech gets new US$50M; partners NVIDIA

Image courtesy: Recursion

Recursion, a leading clinical-stage TechBio company recently announced an investment and strategic collaboration with NVIDIA for its drug discovery tech. NVIDIA will make a US$50M investment in Recursion to accelerate the development of AI foundation models for biology and chemistry. Further, through NVIDIA’s cloud services (BioNeMo), these models will be optimized and distributed to biotechnology companies as a service. Both the companies claim that this collaboration has the potential to reshape the drug discovery landscape.

Recursion utilizes advanced technology to decode biology for drug discovery. Its Recursion OS platform expands one of the largest biological and chemical datasets globally. Using sophisticated machine-learning algorithms, the company identifies trillions of unbiased relationships in biology and chemistry. With massive experimental and computational scale, it unites technology, biology, and chemistry to advance medicine.

“Our collaboration with NVIDIA represents two best-in-class companies coming together to help solve one of the world’s most difficult challenges, drug discovery. With our powerful dataset and NVIDIA’s accelerated computing capabilities, we intend to create groundbreaking foundation models in biology and chemistry at a scale unlike anything that has ever been released in the biological space.”

Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Recursion

Recursion plans to leverage its vast proprietary dataset containing over 3 trillion searchable gene and compound relationships. It will harness this dataset to expedite the training of foundation models on NVIDIA DGX™ Cloud. Ultimately, these models shall be made commercially available on BioNeMo, NVIDIA’s cloud service for generative AI in drug discovery.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Recursion’s world-class team, which is doing pioneering work in digital biology and chemistry with NVIDIA DGX and NVIDIA AI software.”

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA

Also read: BenchSci raises CA$95M for better drug discovery AI

NVIDIA BioNeMo to offer drug discovery tech as a service

Recent trends have demonstrated the potential of generative AI in revolutionizing drug discovery in particular by swiftly identifying and optimizing drug candidates. This technology can design novel molecules targeting viruses without prior 3D structure knowledge. Thus combating drug resistance and viral threats with unprecedented speed and efficacy.

The NVIDIA BioNeMo Service is a cloud-based resource that brings the power of generative AI to the field of drug discovery. Researchers gain access to an array of pre-trained AI models, specialized in molecular biology, chemistry, and molecular dynamics. Significantly, by leveraging BioNeMo, scientists can fine-tune these models with their proprietary data. Thus expediting drug discovery workflows and advancing protein 3D structure predictions. Notable companies, such as AstraZeneca, Insilico Medicine, and Alchemab Therapeutics, have already embraced the BioNeMo Cloud to enhance their data-driven drug design initiatives.

Recursion had its initial public offering in April 2021 (NASDAQ:RXRX). Overall, Crunchbase data suggests that including pre- and post-IPO rounds, the company has raised a total US$665.4M in funding over 18 rounds. Notably, the company has garnered support from prominent investors such as NVIDIA and Laurion Capital Management.

Based out of Salt Lake City (US), Toronto and Montreal, Recursion has been on an expansion journey. It recently inaugurated a 28,000-square-foot office in Toronto, as the hub for Recursion Canada. Moreover, Recursion’s strategic moves, including Cyclica and Valence acquisitions have bolstered the company’s AI capabilities. Both the acquired companies are also prominent AI-enabled drug discovery companies based in Canada. These acquisitions have cemented Recursion’s position as a technology-driven leader within the biopharma industry.

Its Recursion partnership aims to accelerate development of bio-molecular generative AI models, propelling drug discovery for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Also read: New healthcare fund set by Ontario government and Korean VC


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