AI-powered Drug Discovery start-up Peptris raises $1M in pre-seed funding led by Speciale Invest

The investment will enable Peptris to accelerate its AI-powered discovery programs and expand its pipeline of potential drug candidates

December 20, 2023 09:30 am | Updated 02:21 pm IST - Bengaluru

Narayanan Venkatasubramanian, Anand Budni, Shridhar Narayanan and Amit Mahajan (from left).

Narayanan Venkatasubramanian, Anand Budni, Shridhar Narayanan and Amit Mahajan (from left).

Peptris Technologies Private Limited, a Bangalore-based AI drug discovery company, has announced $1 million in pre-seed round investment led by Speciale Invest.

The funding would help boost the company’s efforts in advancing AI-driven solutions in the drug development/discovery sector, with a special focus on developing novel therapies for undruggable targets, particularly in oncology, inflammation, and rare diseases.

Peptris, through its AI platform, aims to transform the traditionally lengthy and costly drug discovery process, which often spans over a decade and incurs substantial costs, making essential medications financially out of reach for many.

The company’s technology narrows down extensive chemical libraries to pinpoint promising drug candidates, marking a significant advancement over traditional drug discovery methods.

The team at Peptris intends to leverage and capitalize on the recent maturation of AI technology in developing its proprietary drug discovery platform. The strides in unsupervised learning and the availability of vast chemical libraries have opened new avenues in the sector, offering substantial market opportunities.

Peptris is capitalizing on this opportunity by developing a proprietary AI platform that reduces preclinical development timelines and costs multifold.

The company is broadening its research scope to include rare diseases, in addition to its ongoing work in oncology and inflammation. This strategic expansion aligns with the company’s mission to leverage AI for the rapid and efficient discovery of novel therapeutic options. The integration of AI in drug discovery, particularly in the context of rare diseases, addresses over 7000 known conditions lacking approved treatments.

“The partnership with Speciale Invest marks a significant milestone in our journey. The current funding will help us accelerate our AI-powered discovery programmes and create a robust pipeline of potential drug candidates,” said Narayanan Venkatasubramanian, CEO and co-founder of Peptris. 

“The backing from Speciale Invest is set to catalyze Peptris’ journey, supporting the expansion of the drug pipeline and further refinement of the platform,” he further added.

Peptris was founded in 2019 by Narayanan Venkatasubramanian, Anand Budni, and Amit Mahajan who are computational experts and Shridhar Narayanan who has contributed to the discovery and development of several clinical candidate drugs, including Enmetazobactam. The team has been incubated at C-CAMP in Bengaluru.

“We hope this partnership will help leverage India’s pharmaceutical expertise and computational talents, making a significant impact globally. This investment aligns with Speciale Invest’s mission to support deep tech start-ups set to revolutionize their industries through scientific research and innovative technologies,” said Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner at Speciale Invest.

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