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Engine Biosciences Closes $43M Series A Round

NEW YORK – Drug discovery-focused bioinformatics firm Engine Biosciences said Wednesday that it has closed a $43 million Series A funding round.

Polaris Partners led the oversubscribed round, with participation from new investor Invus as well as an unspecified institutional investor from Singapore. Previous investors 6 Dimensions Capital, WuXi AppTec, DHVC, EDBI, Baidu Ventures, Vectr Ventures, Goodman Capital, WI Harper, and Nest.Bio also took part.

As a result of the investment, Polaris Partners Managing Partner Amy Schulman has joined Engine Biosciences' board of directors.

Based in Singapore, with significant operations in San Carlos, California, Engine Biosciences said it will apply the new funding to widen its portfolio of potential therapeutics for precision oncology, prepare for its first clinical programs, and scale up its technology.

The company has built two artificial intelligence-enabled technology platforms. NetMappr, a searchable computational biology platform, uncovers gene combinations and potential drug targets, while CombiGem incorporates combinatorial CRISPR to test gene interactions in diseased cells.

Engine Biosciences also said that it has developed pipelines to investigate potential targeted therapies for liver, ovarian, colorectal, and breast cancers.

"Many breakthrough tools to edit, program, and modulate biology have emerged and matured in recent years. The fundamental question continues to be whether we know the disease-driving errors in the genetic code of biology to direct these tools, including therapeutics," Jeffrey Lu, Engine Biosciences' cofounder and CEO, said in a statement.

"Engine's distinct combination of biology, technology, and drug discovery, as well as its global perspective, may well enable the company to be particularly capable of realizing the promise of artificial intelligence in drug discovery and tackling a wide variety of diseases," Schulman added.

The startup previously raised a $10 million seed round in 2018.