LONDON, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
BenevolentAI today announced that it has raised $115 million from new and existing investors at a pre-money valuation of $2 billion in one of the largest funding rounds in the AI pharmaceutical sector.
The majority of investors are from the United States, expanding the Company's global investor footprint. The balance of raised funds came from existing investors, including Woodford Investment Management. To date, the company has raised more than $200m of funding since 2013. Credit Suisse acted as the sole placement agent.
BenevolentAI is applying artificial intelligence to develop new medicines for hard to treat diseases. It is the first fully integrated AI company with pharmaceutical discovery and clinical development capabilities. BenevolentAI's advanced technology is disrupting the pharmaceutical industry by lowering costs, decreasing failure rates and increasing the speed at which medicines are delivered to patients.
The company's advanced technology has been shown to outperform human scientists in understanding the cause of disease and is capable of quickly generating drug candidates at scale. The technology is also able to decipher the molecular process of disease and link these disease signatures within patients to ensure that the best drug candidate is given to the best patient responders - the 'right drugs in the right patients'.
BenevolentAI's current drug development portfolio demonstrates that it can cut early stage drug discovery by four years and potentially deliver efficiencies in the entire drug development process of 60% against pharmaceutical industry averages - significantly disrupting an industry that spends $180bn a year on R&D.
To achieve this, BenevolentAI has created a bioscience machine brain, purpose-built to discover new medicines and cures for disease. Proprietary algorithms perform sophisticated reasoning on over 50 billion ingested and contextualised facts to extract knowledge and generate complex insights into the cause of diseases that have, until now, eluded human understanding.
The company's AI technology is being used to develop treatments to unmet patients' needs across a wide range of diseases, including Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Glioblastoma and Sarcopenia. Semi-automatic novel drug molecules are generated and then advanced in BenevolentAI's newly acquired Cambridge (UK) research facility.
BenevolentAI currently employs 165 people who work in a unique, cross functional environment that incorporates leading edge data scientists, computer scientists, mathematicians and drug development R&D scientists working side by side. The company is headquartered in London with further offices in New York and Belgium. BenevolentAI's research facility is located in Babraham Science Park, Cambridge (UK).
Use of Funds
BenevolentAI has already made significant progress in accelerating drug development, including the initiation of over 20 drug programmes to date. The company will use the funds to significantly scale its drug development activities, broaden the disease areas on which it focuses, and extend its AI platform capabilities even further.
A portion of the funds will be used to extend BenevolentAI's capabilities into other science-based industries underpinning many of the world's most valuable markets such as advanced materials, agriculture, and energy storage.
Ken Mulvany, Founder and Chairman of BenevolentAI commented:
"We are very pleased with the response to the fundraising. It reflects the rapidly growing global interest in the AI pharmaceutical sector and the recognition of our place as the dominant player within it. We have come a very long way since we founded the business in 2013. The capabilities of our technology didn't exist 6 years ago. We are pioneering this sector and have evolved into a fully integrated, AI enabled drug development company with the ability to deliver better medicines at previously unimaginable speeds - this ultimately means patients will receive the right medicines, at a lower cost, in less time."