By Kane Wu
HONG KONG, June 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based company Insilico Medicine, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery and development, has raised $255 million in a new funding round by U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus , it said on Tuesday.
The fundraising attracted nearly 20 investors according to the company's announcement, including CPE, Sequoia Capital China and Mirae Asset Capital.
Existing investors including Qiming Venture Partners, Sinovation Ventures and Baidu Ventures also joined in the funding round.
Insilico did not disclose its valuation in the release.
Founded in 2014 by Scientist Alex Zhavoronkov, Insilico develops AI systems that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning (RL), transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for the generation of new molecular structures with specific properties.
It also develops software for the generation of synthetic biological data, target identification, and the prediction of clinical trials outcomes.
The new funds raised will be used to progress Insilico's current therapeutic programs into human clinical trials, initiate multiple new programs for novel and difficult targets, and further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities, the company said.
The company is known for its 2019 research about its development of an AI system that was able to design a drug in 21 days and was named a 2020 breakthrough technology by MIT Technology Review.
It now operates in six locations worldwide with over 160 scientists, according to its website.
The company has raised over $310 million from expert pharmaceutical, and technology investors since its inception, it said. (Reporting by Kane Wu)