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FREMONT, CA: Phenomic AI, a developer of drug discovery platform(headquartered in Toronto) today has announced the official launch of the company with US $6 million seed financing. The company’s platform uses AI to analyse phenotypes in complex disease models enabling pharmaceutical companies to discover drugs in an easier way. The financing was led by CTI Life Sciences Fund and was joined by AV8 Ventures, Luminous Ventures and Viva Bio Innovator. The company’s CEO Sam Cooper explained that the funding will be used by checking the feasibility or the practical potential of the company’s two lead programs discovered by using AI(Artificial Intelligence) and ML(Machine Learning) platform.
The company’s two lead programs include antibody drugs that target the tumour stroma, which prevents immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, working effectively in solid cancers. The tumour stroma is a very complex barrier to the tumour, which comprises many cell types, such as extracellular matrix and cancer associated fibroblast(CAFs). Checkpoint inhibitors have been a recent revolution in the treatment of cancers, but solid tumours have been excluded from its benefit because of the tumour stroma.
However, Phenomic AI could overcome the challenges involved in understanding how different cells interact in disease states, particularly tumour stroma of solid cancers, “a major unresolved puzzle in cancer”, in the words of Cooper.
By targeting the tumour stroma effectively with therapeutic antibodies, the company aims to activate the immune system in stroma-rich cancero, either directly or in combination with immune checkpoint therapies. It targets CAFs in numerous solid cancers which promotes tumour growth and blocks anti-tumour immune activity.
Phenomic AI Also announced appointments of Dr Michael(Mike)Bristin, as chief scientific officer, and Nobel Laureate James(Jim)P. Allison, Ph.D and Padmasree(Pam) Sharma,M.D, Ph.D, to the company’s advisory board(SAB). AV8 general partner Ruchitha commented that the Phenomic team has made impressive progress in building their platform to find new drug targets in tumour stroma. She also added that appointment of Mike, Jim and Pam has further highlighted the exceptional advancement of Phenomic.