BenchSci raises $70m in Series D for AI-powered drug discovery solutions

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BenchSci, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for preclinical life sciences research and development (R&D), has successfully raised CAD 95 million ($70 million) in a Series D funding round.

The latest funding round was led by Generation Investment Management, with participation from existing investors including iNovia Capital, Golden Ventures, TCV, and F-Prime Capital.

With this latest injection of capital, BenchSci’s total funds raised now amount to CAD 218 million ($170 million). In January 2022, the healthtech company raised CAD 63 million ($50 Million) in its Series C round.

Anthony Woolf — Generation Investment Management Growth Equity Partner said: “We believe more effective preclinical research is critical to a sustainable healthcare system – drug development is expensive and this cost is only increasing. BenchSci is an example of how AI can support existing drug development by helping scientists focus their research on the most promising areas of science.

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“Previously, a scientist typically had to spend hundreds of hours to understand existing experiments and conclusions. With BenchSci’s models, scientists can find the same answer in minutes, accelerating drug discovery and reducing the time and cost to develop potentially life-saving drugs.”

Since its establishment in 2015, BenchSci has been dedicated to assisting pharmaceutical organizations in revolutionizing their R&D portfolios through cutting-edge AI technology. The company’s mission is to uncover the fundamental biology behind various diseases, catalyzing groundbreaking research and expediting the development of improved medicines for patients.

The primary focus of the funding will be to enhance and expand BenchSci’s pioneering AI drug discovery platform, known as ASCEND by BenchSci. This advanced platform empowers scientists by providing them with the means to identify critical biological connections, significantly reduce trial-and-error experimentation, and detect potential risks at an early stage.

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ASCEND is said to have enabled scientists from BenchSci’s top 10 customers to unveil novel targets and disease indications in 22% of key projects, while also achieving a 40% reduction in unnecessary experimentation.

The distinguishing feature of BenchSci’s ASCEND platform lies in its ability to empower scientists across all stages of preclinical research, irrespective of the therapeutic area. By leveraging proprietary text and image-based machine learning techniques, ASCEND transforms previously inaccessible, unstructured, and unstandardized experimental evidence from both internal and external data sources into actionable insights.

It comprehensively decodes and establishes connections within the vast realm of biomedical research, amalgamating customer experimentation and procurement data. This process generates an impartial and objective map of the underlying biology of diseases.

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Liran Belenzon — BenchSci CEO and Co-Founder said: “Thousands of scientists use our platform every day to move their most promising drug discovery projects forward faster. This investment is validation of the incredible work of our team and the traction we have in the market with the largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world.

“With the industry 98% failure rate advancing medicines to patients in need, we’re grateful to partner with Generation who shares our thesis that purpose built, innovative AI must be deployed at scale within pharmaceutical R&D to solve the productivity crisis and bring novel medicines to patients years faster.”

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