Glagow spinout Chemify raises £33.6m to ‘digitise’ chemistry

Chemify Image credit: Chemify

Chemify, a Scottish health tech firm looking to digitise chemistry for medical and drug development, has raised £33.6m.

Founded in 2019 as a spinout from the University of Glasgow, Chemify is aiming to speed up the development of drugs by using computers to automate the process of designing new molecules.

According to the company, Chemify’s molecules also have applications in farming, materials science and green energy.

“There are lots of people in AI drug discovery and lots of people in chemistry, but we’ve got the first computer that can turn code into molecules, and then we actually make the molecules,” said Chemify founder and chief executive Lee Cronin.

“It’s like a 3D printer for chemistry, but a lot more complex.”

Professor Cronin developed a process that he calls “chemputation”, which allows the company to perform simulations before conducting real chemical processes.

Cronin said that while there are many firms using AI to design molecules that are ultimately impossible to make, Chemify is only working with molecules that can be manufactured.

The funding round was led by Triatomic Capital from the US and also includes participation from the UK government’s Innovation Accelerators programme.

AI drug discovery has become a major industry attracting notable flows of capital. Last month, London-based AI biotech platform Causaly closed a £45.8m funding round.