Qubit Pharmaceuticals, a deeptech company specializing in simulation and molecular modeling through the use of quantum physics, has just announced the completion of a € 16.1 million funding round from the XAnge, Omnes, Quantonation and Mr. Octave Klaba, founder of OVH. This seed round, which brings together expert investors in Life Sciences and Deep Tech, brings the total amount raised since the company’s inception in 2020 to more than 23 million euros.
This operation aims to strengthen its proprietary Atlas software platform, which is able to take advantage of the computing power of supercomputers and quantum computers to accelerate the development of more efficient and secure drug candidates. In parallel, the company aims to build a portfolio of 10 drug candidates in the fields of oncology and inflammatory diseases.
The result of a French-American university collaboration
Qubit Pharmaceuticals is the result of the spin-off of the research work carried out by 5 internationally renowned scientists in the United States and France (1). The technological breakthroughs due to their work are internationally recognized and have been awarded several prizes, including two funds from the European Research Council and the Atos Joseph Fourier Prize in 2018. The company is led by Robert Marino, who has a doctorate in quantum, and co-founder in 2018 by Deeptech Founders accelerator.
A company awarded several prizes in France and Europe
In less than 18 months, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has built an impressive price record that demonstrates the robustness of its technology and model. i-Lab and i-Nov competition for Plan d’Investissement d’Avenir, winner of the France Relance plan, Pack Quantique and inov’up Leader PIA from the Ile de France region, French Tech Seed fund from Bpifrance and winner of very prestigious in the EIC accelerator program, which selects only the top 3% of the best European startups.
Modeling of molecules and simulation of their interactions using ultrafast data processing
With a team of 20 people specializing in quantum chemistry, computational chemistry, machine learning and medical chemistry, and thanks to the use of supercomputers and quantum computers, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has developed its Atlas software platform, which aims to divide by 2 that time , required to screen, select a candidate of interest and optimize it; and with more than 10 the necessary investments.
Qubit Pharmaceuticals is able in detail to model and simulate very precisely the interactions between molecules. By creating true digital twins of physical molecules, the Atlas platform performs calculations in a few hours that require several years by conventional means, ie an acceleration of a factor of 100,000. Thus, it is no longer necessary to synthesize the drug candidates developed in chemistry or use artificial intelligence algorithms to validate their effectiveness: Atlas actually allows modeling of molecules, their description and therefore prediction of their stock.
This groundbreaking technology enables Qubit Pharmaceuticals to address 3 key issues in drug development: the quality of predictions, the interpretation of results, and the speed of simulations, generating an improvement and acceleration of therapeutic product portfolios.
Become one of the world’s leaders in ultra-fast drug design
Thanks to Atlas, Qubit Pharmaceuticals teams have thus discovered new drug candidates against Covid in less than 6 months and have initiated several research programs in the field of cancer and inflammation.
The fundraising announced today was to enable the company to become a world leader in supercomputer-assisted drug design. For this, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has already established long-term partnerships with players developing high-performance computing infrastructures such as Nvidia, GENCI and AWS, and quantum computers, including the French Pasqal and the University of Sherbrooke (Canada). Qubit Pharmaceuticals will thus be able to continuously improve the accuracy of its digital twins and expand its scope to increasingly complex targets.
In the immediate future, the company will strengthen its portfolio of drug candidates to achieve 10 internal research programs in oncology and inflammation while concluding agreements with leading research centers as well as biopharmaceutical groups to accelerate the development of their portfolios.
For this, Qubit Pharmaceuticals will strengthen its teams, which should quickly reach 60 people spread between Paris and Boston.
Robert Marino, President of Qubit Pharmaceuticals, said: “One year after our pre-seed round with Quantonation, we are proud to have earned the trust of reputable investors for our seeds. Their financial contribution and their expertise will enable us to realize our ambition to significantly reduce the development time of new drugs and to divide the cost of preclinical development by ten. By creating digital twins of molecules and simulating their behavior, we are confident in our ability to become a globally recognized player in the development of new drugs in areas where there are still significant unmet needs. “
Jean Philip Piquemal, Scientific Director and Co-Founder of Qubit Pharmaceuticals added: “Qubit Pharmaceuticals represents more than 15 years of joint work by the founding university groups in France and the US. It brings the industry a new generation of fast and predictable molecular modeling tools inspired by quantum physics. new acceleration and visualization strategies based on high-performance computing, quantum computation and artificial intelligence to perform very high-precision molecular simulations ”.
Guilhem de Vregille, partner at XAnge, said: “The massive advent of software in biotechnology is revolutionizing the discovery of new drugs. Qubit Pharma is one of the pioneers of this impressive wave!”
Christophe Jurczak and Charles Beigbeder, founding partners of Quantonation, said: “We are very pleased to be joined in this round of financing by anchor investors such as Xange and Omnes, to provide the talented teams of Qubit Pharmaceuticals with the means to become world leaders in the design of molecules using computer. Their original model for hybridizing the most powerful computer technologies is the key to gaining the quantum advantage among the first and realizing the full potential of the quantum processors while developing the company’s partners. “
Fabien Collangettes, Investment Director at Omnes, concluded: “We are strongly convinced of this issue: new molecular modeling technologies will drastically increase the chances of successful drug candidate development while opening up new therapeutic possibilities. The creation of associated values and impact in the healthcare world is Qubit offers cutting-edge quantum modeling technology derived from more than 15 years of academic research, and the demonstrated results already reveal some of the enormous potential of their platform. “
(1) Louis Lagardère (Sorbonne University and CNRS), Matthieu Montes (CNAM), Jean-Philip Piquemal (Sorbonne University and CNRS), Jay Ponder (Washington University in St. Louis), Pengyu Ren (University of Texas at Austin),
Source and visual: Qubit Pharmaceuticals