NEW YORK – A-Alpha Bio, a firm that characterizes protein-protein interactions with high throughput, said on Wednesday that it has raised $20 million in Series A financing.
Madrona Venture Group led the round, with additional participation from Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund and Lux Capital.
In a statement, the firm said it would use the funding to build a new production laboratory, generate the largest-ever database of protein interaction measurements, and fill key roles in its organization. A-Alpha Bio also plans to expand its machine-learning capabilities to determine the rules of protein binding and enable in silico modeling of complex protein interaction networks.
The Seattle-based firm, a University of Washington spinout, has developed a yeast-based platform called AlphaSeq that can measure millions of protein-protein interactions using next-gen sequencing as a readout. In 2019, it raised $2.8 million in seed financing and has won grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support drug discovery for infectious diseases and from the National Science Foundation to support molecular glue target discovery.
"Understanding and characterizing protein-protein interactions is fundamental to the future of drug discovery and development, and we are excited to back this impressive team that is at the intersection of innovation — bringing together life and computer sciences to uncover previously inaccessible discoveries," Matt McIlwain, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, said in a statement. “We have been impressed by the traction [A-Alpha Bio executives] have made since we invested in the seed round and believe they are well on their way to helping to develop treatments for disease and create a data advantage that could change the future of drug and small molecule work."
A-Alpha Bio also said it has partnered with Twist Biopharma and Lumen Bioscience on drug discovery but did not provide more details.