Aqemia raises 30 million euros to invent drugs

From now on, she wants to continue to develop by developing her own drugs. In just one year, Aqemia has launched 12 research projects and wants to multiply this number.

“We are looking for drugs, it’s simple to say but not easy to do”, launches Maximilien Levesque. This former CNRS researcher has developed a platform combining theoretical physics and artificial intelligence to quickly predict whether a molecule is effective in fighting a disease. “The therapeutic targets we focus on are like locks in the body, our job is to invent the key to eliminating the disease”, he illustrates. His company Akemiawhich had already raised 1 million euros in seed in 2019, announces this time a fundraising of 30 million euros in series A, with Eurazeo and the Large Venture fund of Bpifrance, with the participation of its investor history Elaia Partners.

Already 12 drug research projects

The idea: continue to improve its platform and multiply the number of project launches. After only three years of existence, the company of 50 researchers and engineers, based in Paris, has already launched 12 drug research projects. “They have been launched since last year. For a company of this size, it is absolutely huge. The potential value of each project is one billion euros”, underlines the founder, who carried out 12 years of research at Oxford, Cambridge, Normal Sup and at the CNRS, before launching his company. Unlike exclusively AI-based platforms, which need rare and expensive experimental data to train, Aqemia generates its own data using theoretical physics algorithms. Thanks to this, it is able to generate innovative therapeutic molecules as soon as new difficult therapeutic targets are identified. “At constant cost, the speed is 10,000 times greater”emphasize Maximilien Levesque and Emmanuelle Martiano, founders of Aqemia.

Contracts with Sanofi, Servier and Janssen

The company’s first fundraising, amounting to one million euros, enabled it to transform its raw technology from the CNRS into an industrial tool. But also to prove that this solution was effective for drug research. “We immediately signed contracts with Sanofi, Servier and Janssen, which is one of the biggest pharmacies in the world”, says the manager. In a second step, Aqemia itself became a pharmaceutical company. “We do not work on the same targets as our partners”indicates the manager, who specializes in cancer research, particularly in oncology and immuno-oncology.

From now on, the company, which already generates several million euros in turnover, plans to launch “dozens of new projects”. “The aim is to take the ones we have already launched further and we are planning, starting next year, to launch dozens more and to do trials on animals”. Within 8 months, Aqemia plans to double in size by recruiting around fifty people. The development of these projects will then be supported by spin-offs dedicated to clinical trials, on their own or in partnership. “Ultimately, the idea is to become a pharmacy 3.0: a structure with a unique, potentially disruptive technology with data at the center of its model. »

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Aqemia raises 30 million euros to invent drugs

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