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Protai Expands Seed Round to $20M

NEW YORK – Proteomics-based drug discovery firm Protai said Wednesday that it has added $12 million to its seed funding round, bringing the total amount raised in the round to $20 million.

Participants in the round included existing investors Grove Ventures and Pitango HealthTech as well as new investor Maj Invest Equity Fund.

The Tel Aviv-based company said it plans to use the funding to build its oncology drug discovery pipeline and expand its data acquisition and discovery activities via pharma partnerships.

Protai aims to enhance drug development by mapping the course of diseases at the protein level, which the company expects will improve the accuracy of drug discovery programs and lower pharma R&D costs. Last year, it announced an initial $8 million in seed funding. With that funding, it has opened labs for data acquisition, biological validation, and drug discovery activities, hired personnel for its drug discovery team, and gained access to more than 100,000 clinical samples with a focus on gyno-oncology and lung cancer.

The company also announced that it has added Sharon Shacham, founder of Karyopharm Therapeutics, to its board of directors.

"We are excited to announce this funding that supports our mission to enhance the drug development pathway from discovery through commercialization," Eran Seger, CEO and cofounder of Protai, said in a statement. "I am extremely proud of our talented team and the achievements we have made to date. We look forward to scaling our organization and its important work towards revolutionizing the drug development landscape."