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Thursday, Jul 25, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

AI and Autonomy

AI venture Enveda Bio raises another C$75M for plant remedy discovery

The biotech startup has over 38,000 medicinal plants in its database

AI venture Enveda Biosciences raises another C$75M for plant remedy discovery
Image credit: Enveda Biosciences

A Colorado biotechnology outfit has raised another significant chunk of change for its AI-powered natural drug discovery initiatives.

Enveda Biosciences pooled over C$75 million last week from Microsoft Corp. (NYSE: MSFT), The Nature Conservancy, Jazz Venture Partners and others in a Series B2 funding round. Combined with previous rounds, the biotech startup has generated C$315 million.

It was founded in 2019 by the biologist Viswa Colluru after his departure from Recursion Pharmaceuticals Inc (Nasdaq: RXRX). And now, Enveda has two promising drugs used to treat skin conditions and bowel diseases that are ready to enter the clinical trial phase. A Series C funding round will be completed after that process begins.

“Enveda has made significant progress in creating a platform that learns from the diversity in natural chemistry and is able to translate this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics,” Sandesh Patnam, Managing Partner at funding contributor Premji Invest, said.

Furthermore, the company says it has over 38,000 medicinal plants in its database with potential medicinal applications for more than 12,000 diseases. Colluru thinks much of the collective attention in the drug discovery field has been devoted to cannabis and psychedelics in recent times. Despite their wide variety of applications, he believes nature has alot more to offer.

“Everybody is focused on cannabis and psychedelics, which are just a tiny fraction of the natural world,” Colluru said. “Nature is so rich in its chemical diversity and biological effects that studying just 100 plants is enough to give so many potential drugs that we don’t know what to do with them.”

Forbes recently recognized Enveda for being one of the best startup employers in the United States.

Read more: Verses announces Genius public beta preview and webinar June 20

Read more: Verses AI onboards chief product officer in push for AI product Genius

‘Merging ancient wisdom and advanced technologies’

Enveda recently published an article in Reuters detailing its ambitions and inspirations. The biotech startup believes that nature holds the keys to solving humanity’s most difficult problems and that modern technology can find them.

“Humans have used plants as medicine for millennia,” Enveda said last month, “and we have created the largest database of recorded medicinal plant uses from cultures around the world and integrated it with modern pharmacological datasets.”

Through the collaboration of ancient wisdom about traditional medicine practices and AI technologies, Enveda has unearthed and optimized numerous promising molecules.

The startup, alongside others like Pangea Bio and Kapoose Creek Bio, is one of few excelling in this specific field.

Meanwhile, companies like Verses AI Inc. (CBOE: VERS) (OTCQB: VRSSF) have been using artificial intelligence to learn from nature for a variety of other purposes. Verses just obtained substantial capital as well, securing a C$13.7 million private placement from the United Arab Emirates-based AI developer Group 42.


Verses AI is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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