AI Drug R&D Startup XtalPi Announces Over 300 Million Series C Investment Led by SoftBank Vision Fund, PICC Capital, and Morningside

XtalPi 2020-09-28


Cambridge, MA, and Shenzhen, China, /Sep. 28, 2020/ -- XtalPi, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) drug discovery and development technology company, today announces an oversubscribed Series C funding of $318.8 million co-led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2[i], PICC Capital, and Morningside. The new round of financing is joined by over a dozen global investment companies in banking and technology, with follow-on investments from existing investors Tencent, Sequoia China, China Life, and SIG.


With the new round of funding, XtalPi will bring the power of quantum physics, AI, and almost limitless cloud resources to propel research scientists towards drug candidates with tailored pharmaceutical profiles. Its platform takes the unique approach of combining physics-based and data-driven models to comprehensively address all drug properties relevant to progression into clinical studies. By integrating the predictions of its virtual R&D platform with real-world data from modern laboratories, XtalPi will develop a digital-twin drug R&D system to provide a scalable and sustainable advantage that translates to more promising drug candidates with fewer experiments in less time. 


“In the past few years, we have focused on developing and validating our platform’s capabilities by working with some of the top innovative pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world,” said Dr. Shuhao Wen, chairman and co-founder at XtalPi. “As an advocate and trail-blazer in AI drug discovery, our investors and we are heartened by several of our AI drug discovery collaborations that reached milestones in significantly shortened timeframes.”


 “We believe AI holds the answer to solving pharma’s productivity challenge. More specifically, XtalPi’s AI-powered platform can improve the industry’s research efficiency and success rate in order to lower costs for discovering and developing new drugs. We look forward to applying our platform to help clients bring more first-in-class and breakthrough drugs to the market and address significant unmet medical needs to benefit patients on a global scale.”


In the next steps, XtalPi will expand its Intelligent Digital Drug Discovery and Development (ID4) platform’s capabilities through a three-pronged approach focused on algorithms, data, and computing power to address efficiency bottlenecks throughout the critical steps of pharmaceutical research.

With quantum-based theories and AI models at its core, XtalPi’s platform hosts over a hundred prediction algorithms. It can accurately describe the interaction between molecules and proteins at the atomic level, and map various feature vectors of a compound to key pharmacology properties. The company also leverages the massive amount of high-accuracy data in the chemical space of drug-like molecules generated from quantum mechanics calculations for data analysis and model training. XtalPi maintains a petabyte-scale database consisting of pharmaceutically active molecules and key drug characteristics that continues to grow as its business rapidly expands.

Across several prominent global cloud providers, XtalPi routinely builds a supercomputing cluster of over a million cores on-the-fly, in just a few hours, to enable dozens of drug discovery and design projects in parallel. In developing its digital-twin drug R&D system, XtalPi will continue to match real-world R&D data with increasingly powerful virtual simulations at scale and extend its existing success to serve a larger number of biotech partners, therapeutic areas, and drug discovery projects.

“We believe XtalPi is a leader in transforming drug discovery through its innovative multi-disciplinary approach,” said Eric Chen, Ph.D., Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Using a combination of quantum physics, AI and cloud computing, XtalPi’s technology platform is improving the efficiency and accuracy of drug research and development. We are pleased to support their mission to build healthier societies around the world.”

“Morningside has long emphasized on the intersection of computer science and life science in our investment. In the AI-driven efficiency revolution, XtalPi’s platform offers a robust new foundation for pharmaceutical innovations. We look forward to a new era of human health brought by the seamless integration of state-of-the-art information technologies and biotechnology.”



Media Contact:

Ruyu Wang


About XtalPi

XtalPi is a pharmaceutical technology company that is reinventing the industry’s approach to drug research and development with its Intelligent Digital Drug Discovery and Development (ID4) platform. With tightly interwoven quantum physics, artificial intelligence, and high-performance cloud computing algorithms, XtalPi’s ID4 platform provides accurate predictions on the physicochemical and pharmaceutical properties of small-molecule candidates for drug design, solid-form selection, and other critical aspects of drug development. XtalPi is dedicated to improving the efficiency, accuracy, and success rate of drug research and development, and contributing to a healthier society worldwide.

Founded in 2014 by a group of quantum physicists at MIT, XtalPi has since built an elite team with multi-disciplinary expertise in physics, chemistry, pharmaceutical R&D, and algorithm design. XtalPi’s cutting-edge technologies, innovative solutions, and diverse applications across the pharmaceutical value chain have helped it gain industry approval and establish strategic partnerships with top international pharmaceutical companies

About Softbank Vision Fund

The SoftBank Vision Fund seeks to accelerate the AI revolution through investments in market-leading, tech-enabled growth companies across consumer, enterprise software, fintech, frontier tech, health tech, real estate, transportation and logistics, and education sectors. To date, SoftBank Vision Fund 1 and Vision Fund 2 combined have made 15 investments in China.


About PICC Capital

PICC Capital Equity Investment Company Limited (“PICC PE”) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PICC Capital. PICC PE is key to carry out the strategic initiative of PICC Group to accelerate technology transformation, to strengthen regional cooperation, and to enable innovative companies to realize their growth potential. PICC PE uncovers and unlocks value by identifying great companies with untapped potential and enhancing their performance.

PICC Health Care Fund leverages PICC’s insurance value chain to build up a convenient, intelligent and dynamic health care ecosystem through investing into biomedicine, digital health, pharmaceutical distribution, and health care and senior care service providers, etc. The Fund pioneers in building an “Insurance + Technology + Service” ecosphere along the industry value chain.


About Morningside

Morningside Venture Capital (“Morningside”) is one of China’s earliest early-stage venture investors with billions of dollars under management including both USD fund and RMB fund, from the commitment of sovereign wealth funds, family offices, fund of funds, university endowment and etc. With a team of nearly 20 years’ working together, Morningside continues discovering, supporting and encouraging lonely entrepreneurs, with whom we share the vision, and at the same time, not only insight and industry experience do we provide but also mental and operational support.

Media Contact:

Ruyu Wang

[i] As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (“SVF 2”) in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.

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