London-based startup GTN has raised £2.1m in Seed funding in a round led by Octopus Ventures and Pentech to transform drug discovery.

Existing investor Entrepreneur First also contributed to the round, which will be used to build on GTN’s drug discovery technology.

On average, bringing a new drug to the market costs $2.9bn and takes 15 years, with a high chance of failure; plus an expected 50% drop in R&D output every nine years.

GTN, a female-led company, has developed technology called Generative Tensorial Networks. It combines and builds upon techniques from machine learning and quantum physics to simulate, filter and discover new molecules. The company says this will help bring efficiencies to the drug development cycle, discovering much-needed medicines for patients with cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases.

Professor Noor Shaker, co-founder and CEO of GTN, said: “GTN uniquely combines multiple scientific disciplines, including quantum physics, biochemistry and deep learning to revolutionise medicine discovery,

“Interdisciplinary solutions are key to solving some of the most fundamental challenges in one of the world’s most important and commercially valuable targets for scientific R&D. We can see early indications that drug discovery will be transformed in the coming years and we are proud to be working with world-leading advisors, partners and investors at the forefront of these transformative changes”.

Luke Hakes, partner at Octopus Ventures, said: “GTN is on a mission to revolutionise drug discovery and we are thrilled to support them on their journey. This is exactly the kind of innovative early-stage business Octopus Ventures wants to invest in.

“GTN has already established their capabilities by demonstrating their novel approach and we are excited to see what they will achieve,” he added.

GTN’s technology can allegedly predict molecular properties such as binding energy and toxicity. The company is currently running collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies and also has strong partnerships with research bodies including the Francis Crick Institute.

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