• Aivaras Rastenis

Vilnius-based Biomatter Designs raises €500k to develop AI for generative protein design


Vilnius-born startup Biomatter Designs, a pioneer of technologies for generative protein design, has raised €500K in seed funding led by Practica Capital, accompanied by 70V and angel investors. The fresh funds will be used to further develop the company’s protein design technology and product pipeline.


Proteins are large, complex molecules that drive virtually every biological function. Naturally occurring proteins aid biochemical reactions, transport materials within the cell, transduce chemical signals, and play other crucial roles both in our bodies and around us. Proteins, when engineered to perform specific functions (e.g. binding and neutralizing pathogens, converting industrial waste to useful materials), have tremendous potential to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges across healthcare, food, agriculture and other industries.


To accelerate the burdensome and resource-intensive process of protein engineering, Biomatter Designs has developed a machine learning powered platform for next-generation computational protein design. The platform analyses vast amounts of natural protein data to learn the complex rules governing the functions of proteins and later applies the acquired knowledge to design new protein molecules.


“Our company is striving to shift the paradigm in protein engineering”, commented Laurynas Karpus, the CEO of Biomatter Designs. “We are moving from classical protein discovery process to well-predictable computational protein design. Classical methods often resemble searching for a needle in the haystack – looking for the right answer in already existing or similar molecules. This takes a great amount of time and requires loads of expensive and time-consuming experimental data. This is where our technology steps in to intelligently augment the protein engineering process, allowing us to generate new proteins right from the first atom. When it comes to solving problems in healthcare or environmental sectors, we can’t afford to waste time.”


With their computational platform, Biomatter Designs (founded in 2018) are able to generate novel enzymes and protein therapeutics, which would otherwise be difficult to obtain by classical experimental and computational approaches.


“We are very excited to back this bold and long-term vision of Biomatter Designs. The interdisciplinary approach combined with a strong and proven Lithuanian academic and industrial experience in protein engineering, also adding new abilities of AI can lead to unprecedented outcomes. The potential is truly vast”, said Donatas Keras, Partner at Practica Capital.


“70V is glad to have the opportunity to invest in ambitious A-grade talent like Laurynas and his team. We see enormous potential for Biomatter Designs and are excited to be able to help with going to market and accelerating the team’s expertise in enterprise sales,” said Per Moller, Managing Partner at 70V.


Original source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/vilnius-based-biomatter-designs-raises-e500k-to-develop-ai-for-generative-protein-design/

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