NEW YORK, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- OneThree Biotech, a biology-driven artificial intelligence platform that optimizes drug discovery and development, announces closing of a $2.5M seed round along with free toxicity screening to any academic or medical researcher working on developing a new drug to treat COVID-19.
OneThree Biotech (OTB) is a graduate of Cornell Tech's Runway Startup program and uses biology-driven AI to accurately predict new potential therapeutics and to pinpoint the underlying biological mechanisms driving drug efficacy. Recently, they were also selected as one of 18 startups for Company Venture's Grand Central Tech Residency program.
The company was first started in 2018 by Neel S. Madhukar, Ph.D., a PhRMA Foundations Informatics Fellowship recipient recognized on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list, and Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., Director of the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Associate Director of the Institute for Computational Biomedicine, and Co-Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction at Weill Cornell Medicine. Since then, they have rounded out the founding team with the addition of Coryandar Gilvary, a PhD in Computational Biology with experience applying machine learning across multiple different problems and data types, and Bradlay Pryde, a former tech CEO with a successful exit and several years of experience building tech entities across multiple industries.
The seed funding will be used to scale and build out the platform's backend infrastructure and further validate the technology through partnerships with biotech and pharma. In addition to the new financing, in an effort to help COVID-19 research, OneThree Biotech is offering free AI-based toxicity screening to any researcher working on developing a new drug to treat COVID-19.
The seed round was co-led by Primary Venture Partners, the only NYC seed investor of scale focusing exclusively on New York City-based startups, and Meridian Street Capital, an early stage investor with a deep focus on healthcare. Previously they had raised pre-seed funding through Cornell Tech's Runway Startup Postdoc program.
"At Primary we are constantly looking for opportunities to back passionate, brilliant founders who have contrarian insights on enormous market opportunities. Neel, Olivier and the OneThree team fit that description as well as any we've seen in a long time. The R&D and clinical trials paradigm in pharma and biotech are not prepared for the way that the industry is changing and the shift toward a higher volume of hyper-targeted therapies," said Brad Svrluga, Co-founder & General Partner at Primary Venture Partners. "OneThree's unique AI-driven approach promises to bring enormous efficiency to clinical trials, enabling the right drugs to get to market quicker than ever. We're honored to be along for such an important ride."
"In early drug development understanding the biology driving a prediction is often times more important than the prediction itself. However, when we took a look at existing AI platforms being used for drug discovery we found that most were only answering the 'what' without any insight into the 'why'. This is why we built OneThree," said Neel Madhukar, CEO & Co-founder, OneThree Biotech. "We're incredibly grateful for the support of our investors and partners as we push forward and show we can use biology-driven AI to redesign the drug discovery process. So far we've seen how the approaches we've developed can help us understand complex biology and get drugs developed faster and more cost-effectively. The funding, intellectual capital, and connections our investors provide to OneThree Biotech will empower us to build upon these initial successes."
OneThree Biotech has proven out their approach through successful Phase 2 trial results with Oncoceutics. The results of the trial highlighted how their technology can improve the outcome of patients diagnosed with rare brain cancer by identifying treatments that could improve average survival from ~3 months to over a year for some patients.
"OneThree Biotech has proven out their approach through successful Phase 2 trial results with Oncoceutics," noted Josh Allen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President: Research and Development, at Oncoceutics. "The results of the trial highlighted how their technology can improve the outcome of patients diagnosed with rare brain cancer by identifying treatments that shrink these tumors, which has never been seen before."
Past and current partners and collaborators for OTB's technology include Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech, Nvidia, Oncoceutics, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, The Rockefeller University, Stanford University, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
About OneThree Biotech OneThree Biotech is a New York based startup that uses a biology-driven artificial intelligence (AI) platform to optimize pre-clinical drug discovery and development. The company was founded by Neel S. Madhukar, Ph.D., Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., Coryandar Gilvary, Ph.D., and Bradlay Pryde. They were selected as part of the 2020 class of startups for Grand Central Tech and the platform has won awards such as "Most Innovative Technology" award at the 2019 InnoHubei International Science and Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. The technology has also been validated through a Phase 2 trial in H3K27M glioblastoma. For more information visit www.onethree.bio. Follow us on Twitter @OneThreeBiotech.