As one of the key players in computational biology, Helixon received recognition from the capital market for its innovation in machine learning algorithms and data acquisition technologies which reconstruct the drug development process and improve the efficiency of new drug development.
Helixon (Chinese: 华深智药), a provider of AI solutions to protein-based therapeutics, harvested nearly 500 million (USD 74.35 million) of CNY from its Series A financing round led by 5Y Capital (Chinese:五源资本), with participation from Gaorong Capital (Chinese:高榕资本), Neumann Capital and its angle investors, Xianghe Capital(Chinese:襄禾资本), Hillhouse Ventures, Qingzhi Capital (Chinese:清智资本).
The rapid completion of this round of funding attributes to the company’s advanced technology and strong R&D team.
Founded in June 2021, the company is devoted to building an AI-driven scientific computing platform, offering intelligent systems of microcosmic molecular computing, simulation and design for drug developers.
One year after its founding, Helixon has developed multiple algorithms for protein drug design and modeling. Integrating them into its high-throughput experimental platforms, the startup completed a highly efficient iterative closed - loop of AI design/experimental validation.
The founder of Helixon is Dr. Jian Peng, recipient of the 2020 ISCB Overton Prize, an award recognizing the emerging leaders in computational biology and bioinformatics. He is the Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Institute of AI Industry Research, Tsinghua University. The research team he led has published more than 100 academic papers in the fields of artificial intelligence and life sciences.
Jian and his co-workers have developed algorithms successful in several scientific challenges, including the Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) competitions and a few DREAM challenges on translational medicine and pharmacogenomics.
The background and experience of the founder have attracted graduates from elite universities like MIT, Tsinghua, and medalists of International Olympiads in Chemistry, Informatics or Biology to join Helixon.
Currently, Helixon has started to lay out several pipelines of large molecule and immunotherapy research and development. They are expected to advance rapidly to the clinical stage.
Its competitors include BioMap(Chinese: 百图生科), a Baidu-backed computational biology company, ComMedX(Chinese: 康迈迪森) and MingMed Biotech(Chinese: 因明生物).