PostEra, a biotechnology company specializing in machine learning for preclinical drug discovery, announced the expansion of the company's existing strategic collaboration with Pfizer. The expanded multi-target research program will establish an AI Lab where PostEra and Pfizer jointly advance multiple drug discovery programs with an initial focus in oncology and COVID-19 antiviral therapeutics. The AI Lab will leverage novel machine learning for medicinal chemistry built upon Pfizer's data, and PostEra's pioneering innovations in generative chemistry and synthesis-aware design.
PostEra will receive an upfront payment of $13M and is eligible to receive additional milestone payments totalling up to $248M should all milestones be achieved, in addition to tiered royalties on any approved products arising out of the collaboration.
The AI Lab will tightly integrate drug discovery with technology development to ensure a continuous feedback loop that refines both the process and predictions from the platform. The vision of the AI Lab is to combine Pfizer's expertise and data with PostEra's technology to advance these drug discovery programs, while also producing an integrated state-of-the-art platform to be deployed across Pfizer's in-house, preclinical drug discovery efforts.
"We think the best way to build leading technology is to have its development tightly integrated with live drug discovery programs", said Dr. Alpha Lee, Chief Scientific Officer of PostEra. "We're pleased that we are expanding the existing collaboration to do exactly this and to reap the AI advantage in improving preclinical drug discovery,"
Aaron Morris, CEO of PostEra
"At Pfizer, we believe digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, hold great potential to aid the discovery of novel approaches to prevent, cure, and treat disease for patients in need," said Charlotte Allerton, Head of Medicine Design, Pfizer. "We're excited to extend our collaboration with PostEra to further build on our current capabilities."
The company today also announced its $24M Series A financing. The new funding will enable PostEra to further expand its partnered drug discovery programs, initiate internal drug discovery programs, as well as further develop its AI-first medicinal chemistry platform.
PostEra was founded in 2019 and its technology is built on pioneering academic research done by its founding scientists. PostEra's technology addresses some of the key challenges in drug discovery R&D by integrating molecular design with chemical synthesis. PostEra advances small molecule programs through partnerships with biopharma, working on its own internal pipeline, and also offering some of its synthesis technology via its Manifold web platform. PostEra also launched and now helps lead the world's largest open-science drug discovery effort; COVID Moonshot.