Iktos, a company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) for new drug discovery, has closed a €15.5 million ($16.4 million) Series A financing co-led by new investors M Ventures and Debiopharm Innovation Fund with participation from Omnes Capital.\n\n\n\nThis financing will enable Iktos to further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities and expand its existing SaaS software offering, in addition to launching Iktos Robotics; an end-to-end, drug discovery platform that combines artificial intelligence and automation of chemical synthesis to significantly accelerate drug discovery timelines. \n\n\n\nIktos will also extend the application of its solutions to biological products (peptides, antibodies, etc.). This allows Iktos to be one of the first companies to offer fully integrated drug discovery services to the pharmaceutical industry.\n\n\n\nCurrently, the early stages of drug development – identification of therapeutic target to first clinical entry – takes on average five years, requiring an investment of approximately $100 million per drug candidate. \n\n\n\nThe artificial intelligence solutions developed by Iktos are aimed at speeding up the drug discovery process, while increasing the probability of success of drug candidates reaching clinical development. This approach has already been validated by Iktos through more than 50 academic and industrial collaborations, with pharmaceutical and biotech companies such as Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Servier, Ono and Teijin.\n\n\n\nYann Gaston-Mathé, president and co-founder of Iktos, said: "The search for new drug matter is still a laborious and uncertain quest of exploring a chemical universe composed of virtually infinite number of potential molecules. The application of artificial intelligence to early drug discovery and design offers the possibility of a radical change for researchers exploring such chemical universe. \n\n\n\n"The technologies we have developed have been enabling multiple partners in realizing this promise. We welcome our new, experienced, investor syndicate and fresh financing that will allow us to execute our plan of being the preferred partner for the industry to address their drug development needs."