Divide the time needed to select a drug candidate by two and the necessary investment by ten. This is the promise of Qubit Pharmaceuticals with its simulation and modeling software platform that takes advantage of the computational performance of quantum physics. Created in June 2020, deeptech benefited from the support of Quantonation in August, which released an initial envelope of 500,000 euros. The fund launched by Charles Beigbeder is reinvesting 5 million euros as part of the seed financing finalized at 16 million, announced this Friday, June 10.
New entrants to the capital are following in his footsteps: XAnge, leader of this funding round, Omnes and a VIP investor, Octave Klaba, founder of OVH. “The company will use a large part of these funds to enrich its portfolio of drug candidates. We have launched three research programs on Covid-19, cancer and inflammation, and we want to launch ten. Each represents an investment of 1.5 to 4 million over three years”, specifies Robert Marino, its president.
In a few hours
The Atlas platform integrates three disruptive tools. The first, Tinker HP, is a molecular dynamics engine which made it possible to accelerate by a factor of 100,000 the calculations made with the second, Amoeba, a physical model predicting very precisely the behavior of molecules in their environment. The third, VTX, is visualization software that facilitates the understanding of molecular interactions.
Combined, these three technological building blocks “allow the effectiveness of a molecule to be predicted in just a few hours, whereas previously it took one or two years of calculation to obtain the same precision”, explains Professor Jean-Philip Piquemal. The scientific director of Qubit Pharmaceuticals, who also heads the Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry at Sorbonne University, developed them with the four other founders: Jay Ponder, professor at Washington University in Saint-Louis (Missouri); Pengyu Ren, professor at the University of Texas at Austin; Louis Lagardère, world expert in high performance computing; and Matthieu Montes, professor at the CNAM, who oversees the “drug discovery” strategy.
Hosted by the Paris Santé Cochin incubator, the start-up, which has already won 11 million euros in aid, will strengthen its team from 15 to 32 people in France and 4 to 10 in the United States, in Boston.
Creation date : 2000
President : Robert Marino
Rising : 16 million euros
Effective : 19 people