Deep Genomics has announced a $13 million USD equity investment round.
The Toronto-based company is the latest AI-driven company in the city to receive a large investment, continuing the trend that Ontario’s capital is a worldwide leader in the space. The equity investment was led by Khosla Ventures and accompanied by early-stage investment firm True Ventures.
Deep Genomics was founded in 2015 and focuses on creating life-saving genetic therapies. To be more specific, the company uses their AI-led platform to unlock new classes of antisense oligonucleotide therapies that were previously inaccessible, then advance those therapies to clinical evaluation. Antisense therapy involves locating specific genes known to be causative of a particular disease, then synthesizing a strand of nucleic acid that will bond to the gene to inactivate the disease-causing element.
“We believe that the technology developed at Deep Genomics puts them in a unique position to identify new therapies,” said founding partner at Khosla Ventures, Vinod Khosla. “Because of the quality of their science and engineering team and the deep integration of their AI technology into their pre-clinical drug development pipeline, we are confident that a very large potential exists here.”
Project Saturn is the latest endeavor from Deep Genomics. It is a platform that will be used to search the massive space of 69 billion molecules and generate a library of 1,000 compounds that can be used to manipulate cell biology. This project allows Deep Genomics to identify specific preclinical candidates and advance them to an evaluative stage.
Deep Genomics CEO Brendan Fray spoke about how his company is perfectly suited to join the Khosla Venture’s portfolio, which is already full of innovative medtech and AI-driven startups like Editas Medicine and Guardant Health.
“Khosla Ventures is well aligned with our mission to build a new kind of world-class genetic medicine company,” said Frey. “A company whose founding principle is that the future of medicine will rely on artificial intelligence, because biology is too complex for humans to understand.”
Frey stated that the new money will go towards doubling their current staff of 20, focusing primarily on hiring and expanding their roster of scientific experts. Deep Genomics is located in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, as a part of JLABS, the Johnson & Johnson Innovation centre.