New Equilibrium Bio startup raises $10m for AI-powered quantum chemistry

New Equilibrium Bio startup raises $10m for AI-powered quantum chemistry

Published: 31-03-2021 14:37:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 1937 | Tags:

New Equilibrium, the pioneer in rational drug design against intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), has closed a $10 million seed from RA Capital Management. New Equilibrium's platform reveals previously-undetectable opportunities for structure-based design by learning biophysics with AI. The seed will scale up New Equilibrium's R&D facility, expand the team, and accelerate programs targeting IDPs while exploring strategic partnerships.

Dysregulation of IDPs, including the notorious p53, causes cancer, neurodegeneration, and other diseases. These shape-shifting proteins have stymied drug development, being intractable to the structure-determination methods that enable modern rational design.

Virginia Burger, Founder and CEO, New Equilibrium: "By encoding quantum chemistry in AI models, we identify structural details that inform drug discovery. Augmenting physics-based simulations with AI also allows us to harness strategic hardware, accelerating the vast computations needed to describe IDP dynamics. To model larger systems over longer timescales than ever before, we are building toward the hardware of the future."

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, Principal, RA Capital and Board Director, New Equilibrium: "Dr. Burger has worked for a decade on the frontiers of AI, computational biophysics, and IDPs, uniquely positioning her to lead this multidisciplinary endeavor. At RA Capital, we have sought the company best positioned to ultimately design medicines with quantum computing. New Equilibrium is that company."

Prior to founding New Equilibrium in 2019, Dr. Burger led scientific collaborations at the AI drug discovery company XtalPi and performed postdoctoral research in IDP biophysics at MIT. Her co-founder, Dr. Peter Tompa, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, is a Professor of Biochemistry at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) who has spearheaded research on the relationship between IDP structure and function since the field emerged. 

New Equilibrium previously closed $350,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, as well as a $250,000 pre-seed from the Petri Life Sciences Incubator in Boston. Petri committed an additional $500,000 to the $10 million seed.

Tony Kulesa, Founder, Petri: "Dr. Burger manifests our values at Petri, and Dr. Tompa literally wrote the book on disordered proteins. New Equilibrium exemplifies how scientist-CEO founders can rapidly scale startups. We are excited that the Petri model enabled New Equilibrium to attract investment from a biotech investor and company builder that can take the company all the way to IPO."

RA Capital's Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Head of Computational Chemistry, Dr. Soumya Ray, previously at Schrödinger, will join New Equilibrium as Chief Technology Officer.