TwoXar, a biopharmaceutical startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and develop new medicines, has raised $10 million in a series A round of funding led by SoftBank’s early-stage venture capital firm, SoftBank Ventures, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz and Braintree founder Bryan Johnson’s OS Fund.
Founded out of Palo Alto in 2014, TwoXar offers an AI platform that promises to reduce the cost and time it takes to identify new drugs, which can often be up to 15 years. By bypassing traditional laboratory approaches to merge cloud computing and big data with AI, TwoXar believes its drug-discovery platform is “order of magnitudes faster, cheaper, and more accurate” when it comes to finding promising new drug candidates. The company said these predictive models can expedite the drug development process to the point that viable candidates are ready for “in vivo” testing (in animals) within weeks, rather than years. TwoXar’s focus so far has included diseases such as type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
“The application of AI in drug discovery has shifted from speculative to practical and will be a major driver of drug development efficiencies in the biopharmaceutical industry,” noted TwoXar cofounder and CEO Andrew A. Radin. “We are pleased to be aligned with SoftBank Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and OS Fund, who are leaders in investing in applications of AI in biology and bring operational and business development expertise to TwoXar as we continue to build our pipeline of drug programs.”
SoftBank has a number of funds under…