SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Deargen Inc., an AI-powered drug discovery and development company, announced on the 24th that it has raised US$17million in a series B financing round. This will be used to accelerate in-house pipeline by establishing a drug development research institute.
In Series B investment, Korea’s leading institutional investors including NVESTOR, The Wells Investment, and Korea Development Bank participated as new investors in addition to the existing investors, such as Hana Ventures and TS Investment, as follow-on investors.
Deargen explained that the fund secured through the investment will be used to establish iDear Center for AI-driven Drug Discovery and Development, expansion of AI-powered new drug development platform (Dr.UG) applications, and acceleration of overseas market entry, etc. The company plans to establish an AI-integrated new drug development system that supports not only the initial stages of a study, such as from target discovery to substance design but also synthesis and drug development.
iDear Center of Deargen will be established to ensure continuity of new drug development based on the synergy of professional personnel who have over 20-year experience in new drug development at Korean and overseas pharmaceutical companies and the AI technology for new drug development verified through technological development and learning processes over many years.
As the only Korean company that presented several papers under the subject of new drug development at the globally prestigious AI conferences (AAAI, ACM, and MLHC, etc.), Deargen has won recognition for its research outcomes abroad.
With its excellent AI technological power for new drug development, Deargen is conducting joint studies not only in Korea with SK Chemical, Handok, and Samsung Medical Center, but also with overseas pharmaceutical companies and research institutes for new drug development by establishing a branch in the U.S. in August last year. It is creating visible outcomes, such as completing the discovery of the first-in-class target for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), design and synthesis of a new drug candidate, and patent application in only ten weeks using its AI platform, Dr.UG.
Deargen’s AI new drug development platform is an end-to-end model. Following last year, Deargen was again included in the list of top 33 companies of AI new drug discovery field for the fourth quarter of 2021 published by Deep Pharma Intelligence (DPI), a British pharmaceutical and bioengineering investment and research agency, together with the global listed companies.
Junwoo Park, Managing Director of TS Investment said: “We have witnessed direct evidence that Deargen is capable of developing the most effective drug,” He explained, “We decided the follow-on investment, expecting that Deargen will grow even faster when it focuses on its internal new drug development capacities through the research center to be established.”
Hyungsoon Chun, Managing Director of NVESTOR said: “Deargen has already won recognition of its outstanding technological power from several pharmaceutical companies in the global AI-powered new drug development market. We believe that Deargen will become a global leader of AI-powered new drug development and are pleased to be a part of this round of investment.”
Kilsoo Kang, Chief Executive Officer of Deargen said: “Global pharmaceutical companies and leading research institutes are recognizing Deargen’s AI technology that they are proposing cooperation to us. Through iDear Center, a new drug development center to which Deargen’s differentiated AI technologies are applied, we will verify the substances designed by AI, continuously produce new drug candidates, and thus expand our internal pipeline.”
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