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

AI and Autonomy

Kapoose Creek Bio uses AI to identify new fungi-based drugs for brain health

The private biotech company has partnered with McMaster University and Genome Canada for its drug discovery initiatives

Kapoose Creek uses AI to identify new fungi-based drugs for brain health applications
Image credit: Kapoose Creek

British Columbia’s Kapoose Creek Bio has been utilizing AI to create new fungi-based drugs that can treat neurodegenerative diseases, mental health issues and more.

Last week, the biotech company announced that it had formulated two promising compounds from mushrooms native to Vancouver Island. The drug developer is now optimizing them for human dosing and aims to start preclinical development in the coming months.

Kapoose has partnered with Ontario’s McMaster University and the non-profit Genome Canada for its fungi drug discovery endeavours. They have collectively pooled C$2 million together for their research.

“We are mining nature for new leads and bringing those leads into the laboratory,” Dr. Eric Brown, Kapoose chief executive and professor at McMaster, said. He emphasized that fungi has made the creation of important medicines like penicillin, cyclosporin and taxol possible.

“We are using AI technologies to uncover small molecule medicines from nature with unprecedented speed and scale,” Brown added.

Kapoose has created a machine learning-powered drug discovery platform called unEarthRx. It has efficiently identified varieties of fungi that have never been examined before. Thirty per cent of the strains in its library aren’t found in any public database, the company says.

BC’s Kapoose isn’t the only company in the province that has been using AI to tap into nature and make new discoveries. VERSES AI Inc. (CBOE: VERS) (OTCQB: VRSSF) for instance, which has an office in New Westminster, has created an AI model called Genius that examines biological processes to gain insights.

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

Kapoose obtains C$4.3 million for drug discovery efforts

Kapoose recently secured a substantial amount of capital from pre-existing private shareholders through debenture financing.

The company currently has a library with more than 5,000 fungi samples at its off-grid research station on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Kapoose Creek primarily aims to treat infectious diseases, neurological disorders and cancer.

“We are on a mission to build a functional map of the world’s natural chemistry, leveraging AI to uncover its enormous potential to improve health and well-being,” Kapoose says.

Vancouver Island is known for truffle mushroom hunters and a sizeable community of mycologists. There’s an annual mushroom festival in Coombs, a yearly mushroom show hosted by the South Vancouver Mycological Society in Victoria and other fungi-related events and activities.

Biology Director Branden Walle at the research station. Photo credit: Canadian Geographic


Verses AI is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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