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AI Drug Discovery

Artificial intelligence is identifying and testing new therapies faster than ever.

Overview

Artificial intelligence promises accurate and faster drug discovery

Artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery is the process of applying advanced algorithms and machine learning to large biological and chemical datasets in order to find potential drug candidates. AI’s ability to rapidly and precisely analyze highly complex scientific data potentially results in faster discovery of drug candidates, reducing the time taken by a factor of 15 and offering a greater chance of success. Many large pharmaceutical companies are collaborating with AI companies to offer drug discovery services to speed up the delivery of medicines to the market.

Although there is no fully AI-developed drug yet on the market, a few drug candidates have already advanced into clinical trials. A drug discovered by the AI startup Exscientia’s drug discovery platform reached clinical trial stage within 12 months instead of the five years expected for similar development in the traditional drug development process. AI models are also accelerating the delivery of repurposed Covid-19 drugs (meaning reusing existing drugs for new treatments) with a few currently being tested at the clinical trial stage.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

Global market size for AI drug discovery startups could reach USD 4.1-12.4 billion by 2026

Conservative case

USD 4.1 Bn

Base case

USD 8.2 Bn

Expansion case

USD 12.4 Bn

USD million02,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,00014,000202120222023202420252026
View details

COVID-19 IMPACT

  • BenevolentAI ’s repurposed drug for Covid-19 has been granted the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. 

  • Exscientia has been screening more than 15,000 drugs (comprising some approved and others clinically ready) to assess their effectiveness against Covid-19.

  • Insilico Medicine launched COVIDomic, a system for Covid-19 basic and clinical research.

  • AbCellera has discovered antibody treatment for Covid-19, Bamlanivimab, using its AI-powered discovery platform, which received the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. 

  • Google’s DeepMind used its AlphaFold AI platform to publish predictions of protein structures associated with the virus.

View detail

Market Mapping


The AI drug discovery industry consists of:

AI SaaS companies: A large number of startups in the AI drug discovery space operate as AI SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies providing their ML platform to other pharma companies. These pure play startups often specialize in a specific stage of the drug discovery process, and have not expanded into latter stages of drug development.

AI drug discovery and development companies: Majority of the well funded startups in the AI drug discovery space operate as drug discovery and development companies. These are biotechnology companies that have integrated AI as a core component of their in-house drug development process. They typically have a few in-house drug development programs and also collaborate with pharma companies to develop certain drugs.

Pharma incumbents: Large pharma companies operate in this space through collaborations with AI startups or tech companies or by developing in-house AI capabilities.

Tech incumbents: Tech companies which are known for their strong AI capabilities have also entered the industry and offer machine learning tools to support drug discovery. Tech incumbents simply offer ML tools and are not specialized in any particular segment. Hence, they are not included in the market map.

Over 90% of the startups are at the seed/early stages. Most AI SaaS platform operators are yet to achieve stable revenue despite collaborations with pharma companies. AI biotechnology startups have not commercialized their drug with only a few reaching the clinical trial stage.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
AI Drug Discovery & Development
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AI SaaS | Data Aggregation and Research
?
AI SaaS | Biomarker Development
?
AI SaaS | Preclinical Experiments
?
AI SaaS | Drug Discovery
?
Biotechnologies
Biotechnologies
Biotechnologies
Biotechnologies
Biotechnologies
Pfizer
AstraZeneca
Bayer
GlaxoSmithKline
Roche
Merck
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Novartis
Google
Moderna Therapeutics
Microsoft
Intel
Schrödinger
Gritstone Oncology
Relay Therapeutics
Exscientia
Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Generate Biomedicines
Insilico Medicine
Nimbus Therapeutics
BenevolentAI
Deep Genomics
Arbor Biotechnologies
Neuron23
Atomwise
HiberCell
Pharnext
Celsius Therapeutics
Verge Genomics
BIOAGE LABS
eTherapeutics
AI Therapeutics
Lantern Pharma
Glympse Bio
Healx
Evaxion Biotech
Genesis Therapeutics
LabGenius
Envisagenics
Aria Pharmaceuticals
Berg
Valo Health
Erasca
HotSpot Therapeutics
METiS Therapeutics
Cellarity
Frontier Medicines
Cellino Biotech
Vesalius Therapeutics
Standigm
Drug Farm
Engine Biosciences
Gandeeva Therapeutics
Creyon Bio
Endogena Therapeutics
Quris
Fountain Therapeutics
Reverie Labs
VeriSIM Life
SEngine Precision Medicine
ReviR Therapeutics
PharmCADD
X-37
Phenomic AI
Turbine
Arctoris
Protai
Pepticom
Unnatural Products
OneThree Biotech
Mydecine Innovations Group
Kuano
InveniAI
Shepherd Therapeutics
DNAnexus
PatSnap
Verana Health
Owkin
nference
Healx
Zilliz
Flywheel
Empirico
Kyndi
Molecular Health
Nautilus Biotechnology
Axtria
Deepcell
Ozette
PostEra
Reverie Labs
Zephyr AI
Intelligencia
OccamzRazor
Rhino Health
Molecule.one
Precisionlife
InveniAI
WorldQuant Predictive
Biodesix
PathAI
PAIGE
Iterative Scopes
Lantern Pharma
Glympse Bio
Ibex Medical Analytics
Visiopharm
Nautilus Biotechnology
Berkeley Lights
BenchSci
Emerald Cloud Lab
Synthace
Spring Discovery
VeriSIM Life
Arctoris
Amazon
Schrödinger
Gritstone Oncology
XtalPi
Insitro
Exscientia
AbCellera Biologics
BenevolentAI
AbSci
Arbor Biotechnologies
Atomwise
Celsius Therapeutics
Verge Genomics
Dyno Therapeutics
Nuritas
eTherapeutics
Genesis Therapeutics
Arzeda
LabGenius
Envisagenics
Cyclica
NuMedii
Valo Health
Frontier Medicines
BigHat Biosciences
Standigm
Entos
Peptone
Tara Biosystems
PharmCADD
Pepticom
OneThree Biotech
Antiverse
Optibrium
BioSimulytics
Iktos

The Disruptors


Disruptors’ value proposition comes from their specialization and unique technology

Both artificial intelligence (AI) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies and AI-driven biotechnology startups often collaborate with big pharma companies to leverage from the benefits of synergy or due to the lack of funding/expertise to develop drugs in-house. Given that most big pharma companies have also integrated AI into their drug development process in some form, disruptors’ value proposition comes from their specialization and unique technologies.

AI Drug Discovery & Development

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Relay Therapeutics
Public - Market cap USD 2.3 bn
Schrödinger
Public - Market cap USD 2.2 bn
Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Public - Market cap USD 2.1 bn
Exscientia
Public - Market cap USD 1.7 bn
Erasca
Public - Market cap USD 1.2 bn
BenevolentAI
Public - Market cap USD 865.6 mn
Gritstone Oncology
Public - Market cap USD 299.3 mn
eTherapeutics
Public - Market cap USD 151.7 mn
Evaxion Biotech
Public - Market cap USD 105.6 mn
Lantern Pharma
Public - Market cap USD 69.2 mn
Mydecine Innovations Group
Public - Market cap USD 3.0 mn
Valo Health
460
Generate Biomedicines
420
Insilico Medicine
401
Nimbus Therapeutics
302
Deep Genomics
237
Neuron23
214
HotSpot Therapeutics
210
Atomwise
177
METiS Therapeutics
176
Cellarity
173
HiberCell
158
Pharnext
158
Frontier Medicines
156
Celsius Therapeutics
148
Verge Genomics
134
BIOAGE LABS
124
AI Therapeutics
98
Cellino Biotech
98
Glympse Bio
93
Vesalius Therapeutics
75
Standigm
71
Healx
68
Genesis Therapeutics
56
Drug Farm
56
Engine Biosciences
53
Gandeeva Therapeutics
40
Creyon Bio
40
LabGenius
29
Quris
28
Reverie Labs
25
VeriSIM Life
22
ReviR Therapeutics
20
PharmCADD
16
Protai
8
InveniAI
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Arbor Biotechnologies
Endogena Therapeutics
Envisagenics
Fountain Therapeutics
SEngine Precision Medicine
X-37
Aria Pharmaceuticals
Phenomic AI
Turbine
Arctoris
Pepticom
Unnatural Products
OneThree Biotech
Kuano
Berg
Shepherd Therapeutics

AI SaaS | Data Aggregation and Research

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Nautilus Biotechnology
Public - Market cap Unknown
DNAnexus
473
PatSnap
352
Owkin
304
Verana Health
289
Axtria
206
nference
150
Deepcell
98
Healx
68
Zilliz
53
Flywheel
52
Empirico
30
Kyndi
29
Molecular Health
27
Reverie Labs
25
Zephyr AI
19
Intelligencia
16
InveniAI
Unknown
Precisionlife
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Ozette
PostEra
OccamzRazor
Rhino Health
Molecule.one
WorldQuant Predictive

AI SaaS | Biomarker Development

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Lantern Pharma
Public - Market cap USD 69.2 mn
Nautilus Biotechnology
Public - Market cap Unknown
Biodesix
300
PathAI
255
PAIGE
220
Iterative Scopes
194
Glympse Bio
93
Ibex Medical Analytics
52
Watchlist
?
Visiopharm

AI SaaS | Preclinical Experiments

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Berkeley Lights
Public - Market cap USD 356.4 mn
BenchSci
95
Emerald Cloud Lab
92
Synthace
81
Spring Discovery
22
VeriSIM Life
22
Watchlist
?
Arctoris

AI SaaS | Drug Discovery

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
AbCellera Biologics
Public - Market cap USD 3.9 bn
Schrödinger
Public - Market cap USD 2.2 bn
Exscientia
Public - Market cap USD 1.7 bn
BenevolentAI
Public - Market cap USD 865.6 mn
AbSci
Public - Market cap USD 443.8 mn
Gritstone Oncology
Public - Market cap USD 299.3 mn
eTherapeutics
Public - Market cap USD 151.7 mn
XtalPi
786
Insitro
743
Valo Health
460
Atomwise
177
Frontier Medicines
156
Celsius Therapeutics
148
Verge Genomics
134
Dyno Therapeutics
109
Nuritas
106
BigHat Biosciences
99
Standigm
71
Genesis Therapeutics
56
Entos
53
LabGenius
29
Cyclica
24
Tara Biosystems
21
PharmCADD
16
Watchlist
?
Arbor Biotechnologies
Arzeda
Peptone
Envisagenics
Pepticom
NuMedii
OneThree Biotech
Antiverse
Optibrium
BioSimulytics
Iktos

Relay Therapeutics

Relay Therapeutics is a biotechnology company engaged in developing precision medicine evaluating the movement of proteins (protein motion) with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and a supercomputer-powered platform. The company’s initial focus is on precision oncology, but it believes its platform will have applications in other areas of precision medicine such as genetic diseases. Its platform, Dynamo, uses a custom-built supercomputer engineered by David E. Shaw, one of the company’s co-founders. Dynamo can be mainly used in target identification, lead generation, and lead optimization.

The company has three drug candidates in its wholly-owned pipeline: 1) RLY-1971, which acts as a protein inhibitor in solid tumors, and is at the Phase I stage of clinical trials; 2) RLY-4008, which is designed to inhibit fibroblast growth factor receptor 2. The company intends to bring this to clinical trials by the end of 2020; and 3) RLY-PI3K1047, which targets cancer-associated variants of phosphoinositide 3-kinase alpha and is currently at the preclinical stage. In addition to these, Relay also has five programs at the discovery stage across precision oncology and genetic diseases. The company went public in July 2020, raising USD 425 million, one of biotech’s largest IPOs of 2020. The company has not generated any revenue from product sales or any other sources and does not expect to generate revenue from product sales in the near future. It recorded net losses of USD 75.3 million in 2019, increasing 54.3% from 2018.

Segment:
AI Drug Discovery & Development
Total funding:
USD 870.0 million
Competitors:
Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Erasca
Disruptor Funding History

AI Drug Discovery & Development:

Relay Therapeutics
Schrödinger
Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Exscientia
Erasca
BenevolentAI
Gritstone Oncology
eTherapeutics
Evaxion Biotech
Lantern Pharma
Mydecine Innovations Group
Valo Health
Generate Biomedicines
Insilico Medicine
Nimbus Therapeutics
Deep Genomics
Neuron23
HotSpot Therapeutics
Atomwise
METiS Therapeutics
Cellarity
HiberCell
Pharnext
Frontier Medicines
Celsius Therapeutics
Verge Genomics
BIOAGE LABS
AI Therapeutics
Cellino Biotech
Glympse Bio
Vesalius Therapeutics
Standigm
Healx
Genesis Therapeutics
Drug Farm
Engine Biosciences
Gandeeva Therapeutics
Creyon Bio
LabGenius
Quris
Reverie Labs
VeriSIM Life
ReviR Therapeutics
PharmCADD
Protai
Arbor Biotechnologies
Endogena Therapeutics
Envisagenics
Fountain Therapeutics
SEngine Precision Medicine
X-37
Aria Pharmaceuticals
Phenomic AI
Turbine
Arctoris
Pepticom
Unnatural Products
OneThree Biotech
Kuano
Berg

AI SaaS | Data Aggregation and Research:

Nautilus Biotechnology
DNAnexus
PatSnap
Owkin
Verana Health
Axtria
nference
Deepcell
Healx
Zilliz
Flywheel
Empirico
Kyndi
Molecular Health
Reverie Labs
Zephyr AI
Intelligencia
Ozette
PostEra
OccamzRazor
Rhino Health
Molecule.one

AI SaaS | Biomarker Development:

Lantern Pharma
Nautilus Biotechnology
Biodesix
PathAI
PAIGE
Iterative Scopes
Glympse Bio
Ibex Medical Analytics
Visiopharm

Incumbents


Collaborations with artificial intelligence companies companies remain common among big pharma

Incumbents consist of large pharma companies which have integrated artificial intelligence (AI) into their drug development process in some form or entered into collaborations with AI startups and technology companies that offer AI-driven solutions for drug discovery.

Leading big pharma companies have developed in-house AI capabilities, but have not disclosed the extent to which AI is being used in the drug development process. All leading big pharma companies are actively engaged in collaborations with AI startups or tech companies. This is because building in-house capabilities to match the specialization offered by startups is challenging, especially with the scarcity of personnel skilled in both AI and biology.

AI Drug Discovery & Development
AI SaaS | Data Aggregation and Research
AI SaaS | Biomarker Development
AI SaaS | Preclinical Experiments
AI SaaS | Drug Discovery
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment
Pfizer
AstraZeneca
GlaxoSmithKline
Bayer
Roche
Merck
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Novartis
Google
Moderna Therapeutics
Microsoft
Intel
Amazon

Notable Investors


No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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