CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – Envisagenics, a startup focused on aiding drug discovery by applying artificial intelligence to gene sequences, has closed a $2.4 million seed round of venture capital.
The lead investors are mostly women, including Daniella Kranjac, managing director of Dynamk Capital; Shana Fisher, founder of Third Kind Venture Capital; and Gillian Sandler, of New York biotech investment company Cosine, the firm said. Envisagenics also received funding from Peter Thiel's Breakout Labs and from the New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund.
New York-based Envisagenics, which was spun out of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2014, launched its SpliceCore technology platform in October at Breakout Labs' pitch competition, Unboxing. SpliceCore helps drug companies develop new therapies that correct RNA splicing errors, the startup said.
"Discovering RNA splicing errors and learning how to fix them at the same time is a fantastic problem to solve with AI,” Envisagenics Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Martin Akerman noted in a statement.
Envisagenics developed the prototype for SpliceCore with the help of a $225,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2015.