Meet ‘CHARM Therapeutics’, a London-Based Startup that is Delivering Transformational Medicines through 3D Deep Learning and Cutting-Edge Drug Discovery Technologies

Drug design based on the structure has considerably impacted drug discovery, but some constraints have limited its potential. The most common target for drugs is proteins. And in order to achieve an effect, one must first comprehend the target structure and how the protein’s chain of amino acids folds under various conditions. Furthermore, tiny modifications can cascade and reorganize its entire structure, causing a total transformation whenever a protein interacts with an appropriate binder or ligand.

Meet Charm Therapeutics, which aims to solve these problems using 3-D deep learning and drug discovery technologies. The company was founded by Laksh Aithani, who previously founded Y Combinator-backed genei, and was a core contributor to the machine learning platform at Exscientia and most recently was Entrepreneur in Residence at Braavos, and David Baker, Ph.D., Head of the Institute for Protein Design, University of Washington.Ā 

Their proprietary DragonFold technology uses an end-to-end approach to predict protein/ligand co-folding in order to find new transformative medicines for challenging targets. Because of its end-to-end nature, DragonFold has the potential to concurrently determine the binding site and model-induced fit, as well as forecast the ligand’s posture and affinity, allowing structure-based drug design to reach its full potential. The technology is inspired by the breakthroughs of Wiley- Prize winner David Baker, who is also the co-founder of the company. 

They are building a pipeline of novel small molecule inhibitors targeting cancers and other diseases with significant unmet medical needs, using their groundbreaking 3D deep learning co-folding technology paired with state-of-the-art lab facilities.

The London-based startup has raised $50 Million in a Series A funding round. The round was co-led by F-Prime Capital and OrbiMed, with participation from General Catalyst, Braavos, Khosla Ventures, Axial, and Grep VC. After this funding round, Charm Therapeutics’ primary focus is on the positive identification of effective medications and testing and validation of the model.

References:

  • https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/charm-therapeutics
  • https://charmtx.com/technology/
  • https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/06/09/2459334/0/en/CHARM-Therapeutics-launches-with-a-50-million-Series-A-financing-to-transform-structure-based-drug-discovery-using-its-proprietary-DragonFold-AI-technology.html
  • https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/10/charm-therapeutics-applies-ai-to-complex-protein-interactions-locking-down-50m-a-round/