StoneWise, a medical technology company that accelerates novel drug discovery with artificial intelligence, announced that it has completed its series B and B+ financing to raise a total of US$100 million.
The series B financing was led by Legend Capital, while the series B+ funding was co-led by Greater Bay Area Community Development Fund and Lightspeed China. New investors include CDH VGC Fund and Eastern Bell Capital. Existing shareholders are Hillhouse Ventures, SIG, Long Hill Capital, and Linear Capital made additional investments.
The proceeds will be used to recruit and retain world-leading talents and upgrade the AI-enabled drug discovery platform so as to advance innovation and improve R&D efficiency.
“We will use the proceeds from these two rounds of financing to strengthen our talent team, accelerate technology iteration, and support project execution,” says Jielong Zhang, founder of StoneWise. “We expect more eminent professionals to join us in the early stage of pharmaceutical development. Together, we will identify promising drug candidates faster, advance the use of AI in drug innovation, and improve life quality,” he continues.
StoneWise completed four rounds of financing in 2020. Its investors include highly-influential players in both the pharmaceutical and the AI sectors. Those latest financing will empower StoneWise to leverage its molecular design platform and knowledge graph to gear up AI-driven discovery of novel drugs.
It takes up to 15 years and around US$2.6 billion on average to develop a new drug. As one of the global pioneers to apply AI to small molecule drug R&D, StoneWise makes drug development more time-efficient and cost-effective with its drug discovery platform.
The platform provides pharmaceutical companies an integrated solution, featuring a vast range of tools such as a wide range of AI models, interactive medical knowledge graph, deep learning-driven scaffold hopping/derivatization, and generative molecular creation and design.
Richard Li, President of Legend Capital says, “Drug innovation is at the core of pharmaceutical development, and it is also a major entry point for AI application. StoneWise is an industry leader in terms of new technology development, strategic planning and project execution. We are confident that via integrating AI with computational chemistry, pharmacology, molecule dynamics, quantum mechanics, and other cutting-edge technologies, StoneWise will strive to lead AI-driven drug innovation.”
“Drug discovery industry faces challenges such as long R&D cycles, low success rates, and sky-rocketing costs, which can be more effectively addressed by AI technologies. Up to now, multiple drugs developed with the support of AI entered into clinical development stages,” says Mingyu Wang, senior partner of CDH VGC. “StoneWise’s AI platform has been well received by many pharmaceutical companies. We are confident on its growth potential and expect a continuous output of high-quality drug candidates., and a significantly improved drug discovery R&D system.”