Israeli AI-powered drug discovery startup Protai raises $8m seed round to provide proteomics-based platform
Protai, an AI-powered drug discovery startup announced its emergence from stealth, along with an $8 million seed financing round co-led by Grove Ventures and Pitango HealthTech. The funding will be used to further develop Protai's platform, accelerate its discovery programs and enhance its partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
Despite the significant contribution of genome-level information to the efforts of drug R&D, this information fails to represent the functional layer of the cell reflected and dominated by proteins. This lack of functional understanding of a disease's molecular mechanisms is one of the main shortcomings of the current drug discovery and development process.
Protai has built an end-to-end AI-based platform that comprehensively maps the course of a disease on the protein level, enhancing the ability to observe cellular function and thereby improving the way new drugs are discovered. This effective approach enables Protai to increase accuracy in drug discovery and improve the development process, substantially saving time and lowering the costs of R&D.
Eran Seger, CEO and Co-founder, Protai: "Protai's platform is like a unique compass for directing drug discovery. 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 has created the world's largest and most diverse proteomic database with over 50,000 clinical samples by harmonizing large clinical datasets, as well as healthy samples from various organs and indications. This enables Protai to establish a baseline to then accurately simulate biological functional processes for a variety of diseases and accelerate drug R&D through clinical and preclinical stages.
Ittai Harel, General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital: "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. We are proud to support the founders and the company, as we expect its advanced technology to promote effective novel drug and biomarker development."
Lior Handelsman, General Partner, Grove Ventures: "Our investment in Protai highlights Grove Ventures' increasing commitment to the potential of AI in improving drug discovery and development. We are happy to partner with this exceptional team, and we are positive that Protai will make a huge leap forward in how drug candidates are selected and in how people are treated and cured."