Insitro, a company that uses machine learning for drug discovery and development, recently announced that it has raised USD 400 million in a Series C financing round led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, also known as CPP Investments, and also included participants like Andreessen Horowitz, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Casdin Capital, BlackRock, ARCH Venture Partners, Foresite Capital, GV, Third Rock Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, HOF Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments, Temasek and Softbank Investment Advisors. Also involved alongside was an undisclosed leading global investment group and a marketing leading U.S. payer-provider health system. Insitro combines fast-paced machine learning algorithms with cell-based predictive drug models – a combination of in silico and in vitro to identify new therapeutic candidates and drug targets.
The year 2020 has been filled with many milestones for Insitro as it successfully raised USD 143 million in a Series B financing round in May and also received the first operational milestone payment from Gilead as part of the three-year long strategic partnership to discover and develop drug targets for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which currently is an unserved clinical area with no available therapies. As part of the discovery partnership, Insitro will deploy its proprietary predictive human disease models constructed from iPSC cell lines to study various drug targets that influence progression or regression of the disease.
In October of 2020, Insitro also announced a five–year discovery and development collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. Apart from these business collaborations, Insitro also acquired Haystack Sciences to ramp up in-house drug discovery capabilities adding to its portfolio Haystack’s DEL technology that allows collection of massive small molecule data sets to construct chemical combinatorial libraries that are then used to predict drug activity.
The Series C financing, alongside Insitro’s Series B Financing, provides Insitro with tremendous resources from some of the best long-term investors in biotech. The proceeds from the financing will be used to further expand the company’s platform capabilities enable access to datasets, complementary technologies and further build out in-licensed assets. It also allows them to continue to expand their work towards bringing transformative medicines to patients faster and with fewer failures.