Verge Genomics Announces $32 Million Series A
July 16, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO — Verge Genomics, a drug discovery company utilizing machine learning to develop new therapeutics, announced today that it has raised $32 million in Series A financing led by DFJ. New biotech investors WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund, ALS Investment Fund, Agent Capital, and OS Fund also participated in the round. The oversubscribed round brings Verge’s total funding raised to-date to more than $36 million. With this round, Emily Melton of DFJ will join Verge Genomics’ Board of Directors.
Founded in 2015, Verge intersects machine learning, neuroscience, and experimental biology to accelerate drug discovery. The Company has developed lead therapeutic programs in ALS and Parkinson’s disease at breakneck pace while establishing partnerships with two pharmaceutical companies. Verge also invested heavily in the creation of its proprietary datasets, generating one of the field’s largest and most comprehensive databases of ALS and Parkinson’s Disease patient genomic data through partnerships with a dozen top-tier academic and government organizations.
“By vertically integrating machine learning and drug development capabilities under one roof, we have been able to quickly identify dozens of promising new therapeutic opportunities for devastating diseases such as ALS and Parkinson’s Disease,” said Alice Zhang, Co-founder and CEO of Verge Genomics. “We wanted our investor syndicate to reflect the same interdisciplinary mindset and are excited to bring together top investors from both the biotech and technology sectors. This funding will allow us to advance our most promising drug candidates towards the clinic while continuing to expand our proprietary datasets and therapeutic portfolio.”
“The substantial increase in data volumes combined with the application of machine learning tools has the potential to transform drug discovery and development,” said Emily Melton, Partner at DFJ. “We were compelled by the high-caliber and multidisciplinary team at Verge Genomics and their vision to leverage the convergence of technological and neurobiological advances to discover new therapies for these complex diseases.”
“Verge has built one of the most comprehensive datasets that we have worked with for disease understanding, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Importantly, Verge’s integrated approach to drug development aligns patient data with animal models to ensure the use of appropriate translational research,” said Mr. Edward Hu, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer of WuXi AppTec. “With our investment in Verge, we continue to strategically build multiple relationships in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning applying to drug discovery.”
Read the full press release here.