A French startup specialising in AI for new drug discovery, Iktos, has scored €15.5 million in Series A funding. The investment round was co-led by new investors M Ventures and Debiopharm Innovation Fund with participation from Omnes Capital, which backed Gourmey, The Exploration Company, and Capsule Corp Labs.
Iktos will use the funds to further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities and expand its existing SaaS software offering. In addition, the company will launch Robotics, a unique, end-to-end, drug discovery platform, which combines artificial intelligence and automation of chemical synthesis to significantly accelerate drug discovery timelines.
Also, it will additionally extend the application of its solutions to biological products (peptides, antibodies, etc.). This allows Iktos to be one of the first companies to offer fully integrated drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry.
Yann Gaston-Mathé, President and co-founder of Iktos, said: “The application of artificial intelligence to early drug discovery and design offers the possibility of a radical change for researchers exploring such a chemical universe. The technologies we have developed have been enabling multiple partners in realizing this promise. We welcome our new, experienced, investor syndicate and fresh financing that will allow us to execute our plan of being the preferred partner for the industry to address their drug development needs.”
Dr Nadiya Ishnazarova of M Ventures, commenting on behalf of the syndicate stated: “We believe Iktos with its mature technology across generative AI and synthesis planning, and advancements in building fully integrated drug discovery platform has the potential to provide a competitive edge for the pharma industry as AI/ML becomes a core feature of R&D.”
Tanja Dowe, the CEO of Debiopharm Innovation Fund added: “We are very excited to collaborate with an impressive syndicate of strong investors M Ventures and Omnes Capital to support Iktos in executing its plans to develop cutting-edge end-to-end AIDD capabilities.”
Speeds up drug discovery using AI
Iktos was founded in 2016 by Quentin Perron, Nicolas Do Huu, and Yann Gaston-Mathé, with the aim of developing an innovative and user-friendly technology platform for deep learning-based drug design.
The use of Iktos technology platform enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. It offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya and develops Spaya, a synthesis planning software based on Iktos’ proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis.
The artificial intelligence solutions developed by Iktos will speed up the drug discovery process while increasing the probability of the success of drug candidates reaching clinical development. This approach is already validated and has collaborated with multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies such as Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Servier, Ono, and Teijin, among others.