An AI startup that ensures the safety and efficacy of new drugs has raised $9 million.
Quris tests thousands of new drugs on miniaturized “patients-on-a-chip” – small plastic rectangles of recreated tissues from human organs.
They simulate the human body in miniature, and each tiny chip can fit up to 100 “patients”.
They’re used to simulate a real human body’s reaction, without having to rely on animal testing – which is inaccurate and time-intensive.
Quris’s AI accurately predicts clinical safety and efficacy for novel drugs and is faster and more cost effective than traditional methods.
The new funding raised its total to $37 million, and the investment was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, GlenRock Capital, iAngels, Welltech Ventures and Richter Group.
“SoftBank’s ecosystem comprises an impressive cluster of companies leading the field of artificial intelligence for pharma,” said Dr Isaac Bentwich, Founder and CEO of Quris.
“As an investment partner, it gives them a unique perspective on this young and promising field that has already begun to produce significant unicorns.”
Yossi Cohen, Director of Israel Operations for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “We believe the early forecasting capability that Quris is developing brings real potential impact to the global pharmaceutical industry.
”Harnessing the novel application of AI, Dr Bentwich and his team could save the enormous costs of drugs failing in clinical trials, and in doing so create a business in Israel of significant economic value.”