Meliora Therapeutics, a Menlo Park, CA-based biotech company pioneering a machine learning-driven platform to decipher oncology drugs' true mechanisms of action, announced that it closed $11 million in seed financing.
The round was led by HOF Capital and ZhenFund, with participation from Obvious Ventures, Village Global, BrightEdge (the impact investment arm of the American Cancer Society), Pebblebed (fund of Keith Adams, former Chief Architect at Slack), Axial, and Olive Capital.
Individual investors Michael Polansky (co-founder of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and ArsenalBio), Wes Sterman (founding investor for Gilead), and others also participated in the round.
The seed funding will be used to expand Meliora's computational platform, which includes building a proprietary data moat and selecting mischaracterized scaffolds as strong starting points for its lead precision therapeutic programs. The funding will also be used to expand the team and operations and build industry partnerships.
The company has already built a computational prototype that identifies the correct mechanism of action (MOA) for small molecule drugs and generated in-vitro wet lab data for dozens of compounds computationally identified as having an alternate mechanism of action, with many of these compounds generating strong potency against the in silico predicted target.
"Modern cancer drug development is often not mechanism-driven, leading to clinical development failures down the line. Meliora is using a novel molecular fingerprint matching method to determine the true mechanism of action of precision cancer therapies," said David Li, CEO & Co-Founder, Meliora Therapeutics. "By using machine learning to connect MOA with specific therapeutic molecules, we will increase the overall probability of success. We're thrilled to have the support of this top-tier investor syndicate, and the funds will be used to expand our team and accelerate development of our proprietary computational platform."
Company: Meliora Therapeutics Private Limited
Round: Seed Round
Funding Month: September 2022
Lead Investors: HOF Capital and ZhenFund
Additional Investors: Obvious Ventures, Village Global, BrightEdge (the impact investment arm of the American Cancer Society), Pebblebed, Axial, and Olive Capital, Michael Polansky, and Wes Sterman
Company Website: https://www.melioratherapeutics.com/
Software Category: Computational Platform
About the Company: Founded in September 2021 by David Li, CEO & Co-Founder; Jason Sheltzer, Ph.D., Scientific Co-Founder; and Joan Smith, Technical Co-Founder, Meliora is reimagining modern cancer drug development by putting genomics and cutting-edge computational approaches as first-class principles of product development. Meliora's computational platform enables researchers to develop a precise understanding of a drug's true mechanism of action (MOA) based on data and not guesswork. Meliora aims to improve the current success rate of oncology drugs in development by building the industry's first atlas of drug mechanisms and their impact on cancer biology through machine learning. The company is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA.