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Protai Raises $8M to Build Proteomics, AI-Based Drug Discovery Platform

NEW YORK – Protai, an Israeli startup supporting drug discovery with proteomics and artificial intelligence, said on Wednesday that it has landed $8 million in seed funding.

Grove Ventures and the Pitango HealthTech venture fund co-led the financing, which the Tel Aviv-based firm said it would use to continue development of its technology platform, advance its drug discovery programs, and form partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Protai has amassed a proteomic database with more than 50,000 clinical samples. Its platform is meant to enhance drug development by mapping the course of diseases at the protein level, which the company said will improve accuracy of drug discovery programs and lower pharma R&D costs.

"We are systematically mapping diseases on the protein level to create an entirely new layer of functional information, which enables us to identify therapeutic and diagnostic targets to better combat a wide range of complex diseases," Protai CEO and cofounder Eran Seger said in a statement.

"Protai is leading a paradigm shift in proteomics-based drug discovery by creating a new class of high-quality data that was previously not available to drug researchers and development professionals," added Ittai Harel, general partner at Pitango Venture Capital, which manages the Pitango HealthTech fund.