French medtech company Aqemia has raised €30m ($33m) in a funding round led by Eurazeo, with participation from Largeventure (of BPIFrance) and Elaia. The start-up, founded in 2019 by Maximilien Levesque and Emmanuelle Martiano, uses its Launchpad platform, which combines theoretical physics with AI, to quickly identify effective drug candidates for a given disease. The platform has already been adopted by pharmaceutical giants such as Sanofi, Janssen, and Servier. The new funding will be used to further develop its proprietary research projects, particularly in oncology and immuno-oncology, and to improve the platform.
The funding round was supported by transaction services provider 2CFinance, which conducted Aqemia's financial due diligence. Eurazeo is a French investment company with €18.8bn of assets under management and a focus on mid-cap firms. BPIFrance is a public investment bank that supports French companies throughout their funding stages. Largeventure is one of its investment vehicles, focused on late-stage venture capital.
Aqemia's platform has the potential to significantly cut the time and cost of drug discovery. By using computational approaches to identify promising drug candidates, it can reduce the need for traditional lab-based testing. This approach has already borne fruit: last year, Aqemia identified a promising molecule for the treatment of tuberculosis in a matter of days. With further development, the platform could revolutionize drug discovery and bring new treatments to market more quickly.
The funding round is further evidence of the growing importance of AI in the pharmaceutical industry, as companies seek to leverage its power to accelerate drug discovery and development. This trend is likely to continue, as AI continues to produce impressive results in a wide range of applications.