» Qubit Pharmaceuticals raises €16 million to deploy its quantum physics-based drug discovery platform MyPharma Editions

Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2022

Qubit Pharmaceuticals, a deeptech company specializing in simulation and molecular modeling through the use of quantum physics, has just announced the completion of a funding round of 16.1 million euros from the funds XAnge, Omnes, Quantonation and Mr. Octave Klaba, founder of OVH. This seed round, which brings together expert investors in Life Sciences and Deep Tech, brings the total amount raised since the company’s creation in 2020 to more than 23 million euros.

This operation aims to strengthen its proprietary Atlas software platform, capable of taking advantage of the computing power of supercomputers and quantum computers to accelerate the development of more effective and safer drug candidates. In parallel, the company aims to build a portfolio of 10 drug candidates in the fields of oncology and inflammatory diseases.

Result of a Franco-American university collaboration

Qubit Pharmaceuticals is the result of the spin-off of the research work of 5 internationally renowned scientists in the United States and France (1). The technological breakthroughs resulting from their work are internationally recognized and have been awarded numerous prizes, including two funding from the European Research Council and the Atos Joseph Fourier Prize in 2018. The Company is headed by Robert Marino, who holds a doctorate in dissertations quantics, and co-founder in 2018 of the Deeptech Founders accelerator.

A company rewarded with numerous awards in France and Europe

In less than 18 months, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has built an impressive award track-record, demonstrating the robustness of its technology and model. i-Lab and i-Nov competition for the Plan d’Investissement d’Avenir, winner of the France Relance plan, Pack Quantique and inov’up Leader PIA of the Ile de France Region, French Tech Seed fund of Bpifrance and winner of the very prestigious of the EIC accelerator program selecting only the top 3% of the best European startups.

Modeling molecules and simulating their interactions using ultra-fast computing

With a team of 20 people specialized in quantum chemistry, computational chemistry, machine-learning and medicinal chemistry, and thanks to the use of supercomputers and quantum computers, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has developed its Atlas software platform which aims to divide by 2 the time required to screen, select a candidate of interest and optimize it; and by more than 10 the necessary investments.

In detail, Qubit Pharmaceuticals is able to model and simulate very precisely the interactions between molecules. By creating true digital twins of physical molecules, the Atlas platform performs calculations in a few hours that require several years by conventional means, ie an acceleration of a factor of 100,000. Thus, it is no longer necessary to synthesize the drug candidates developed in chemistry or using artificial intelligence algorithms to validate their effectiveness: Atlas indeed allows the modeling of molecules, their description and therefore the prediction of their stock.

This breakthrough technology enables Qubit Pharmaceuticals to solve 3 key issues in drug development: the quality of predictions, the interpretability of results and the speed of simulations, which generates an improvement and acceleration of therapeutic product portfolios.

Become a world leader in ultra-rapid drug design

Thus, thanks to Atlas, Qubit Pharmaceuticals teams have discovered new drug candidates against Covid in less than 6 months and have initiated several research programs in the field of cancer and inflammation.

The fundraising announced today should enable the Company to become a world leader in supercomputer-assisted drug design. For this, Qubit Pharmaceuticals has already established long-term partnerships with players who develop high-performance computing infrastructures such as Nvidia, GENCI and AWS, and quantum computing, including the French Pasqal and the University of Sherbrooke (Canada) . Thus, Qubit Pharmaceuticals will be able to continuously improve the accuracy of its digital twins and extend the scope of applications to increasingly complex targets.

In the immediate future, the company will strengthen its portfolio of drug candidates to reach 10 internal research programs in oncology and inflammation while forging agreements with leading research centers as well as biopharmaceutical groups to accelerate the development of their portfolios. .

For this, Qubit Pharmaceuticals will strengthen its teams which should quickly reach 60 people spread between Paris and Boston.

Robert Marino, President of Qubit Pharmaceuticals said, “One year after our pre-seed round with Quantonation, we are proud to have earned the trust of renowned investors for our seed. Their financial contribution and their expertise will enable us to realize our ambition to considerably reduce the development time for new drugs and to divide the cost of pre-clinical development by ten. Qubit Pharmaceuticals is a bridge between the universe of mathematicians and physicists who develop super-fast calculation tools based on quantum research, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology players looking for new drugs. By creating digital twins of molecules and simulating their behavior, we are confident in our ability to become a globally recognized player in the development of new drugs in areas where there are still significant unmet needs. »

Jean Philip Piquemal, Scientific Director and co-founder of Qubit Pharmaceuticals added: “Qubit Pharmaceuticals represents more than 15 years of joint work by the founding university groups in France and the United States. It brings to the industry a new generation of fast and predictive molecular modeling tools inspired by quantum physics, coupled with new acceleration and visualization strategies based on high performance computing, quantum computing and artificial intelligence to perform very high-precision molecular simulations”.

Guilhem de Vregille, Partner at XAnge, said: “The massive arrival of software in biotech is revolutionizing the discovery of new drugs. Qubit Pharma is one of the pioneers of this impressive wave! »

Christophe Jurczak and Charles Beigbeder, founding partners of Quantonation, said: “We are very pleased to be joined in this financing round by anchor investors such as Xange and Omnes, to give the talented teams of Qubit Pharmaceuticals the means to become a world leader in the design of molecules by computer. Their original model of hybridization of the most powerful computing technologies is the key to achieving the quantum advantage among the first, and realizing the full potential of the quantum processors under development by the company’s partners. »

Fabien Collangettes, Investment Director at Omnes, concluded: “We are strongly convinced on this subject: new molecular modeling technologies will drastically increase the chances of successful development of drug candidates while opening up new therapeutic possibilities. The creation of associated values ​​and the impact in the world of Health are massive. Qubit offers breakthrough quantum modeling technology derived from more than 15 years of academic research, and the demonstrated results are already revealing some of the immense potential of their platform. »

(1) Louis Lagardère (Sorbonne University and CNRS), Matthieu Montes (CNAM), Jean-Philip Piquemal (Sorbonne University and CNRS), Jay Ponder (Washington University in St Louis), Pengyu Ren (University of Texas at Austin),

Source and visual: Qubit Pharmaceuticals

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» Qubit Pharmaceuticals raises €16 million to deploy its quantum physics-based drug discovery platform MyPharma Editions

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