Bill Gates backs Schrödinger’s $85M venture raise for its standout computational drug discovery platform

Computational chemistry in drug discovery is nothing new — the idea that more precise molecular design can speed up and optimize R&D is always appealing to an industry desperate for a higher return of investment — but it might just be gaining steam again. Just look at the list of investors in Schrödinger’s latest round.

Ramy Farid

Deerfield Management, Baron, Qiming Venture Partners, and GV (formerly Google Ventures) all chipped into the $85 million Series E, co-led by two of Schrödinger’s big believers: Bill Gates, who’s supported previous rounds; and WuXi AppTec, which launched a drug discovery joint venture with the company just weeks ago.

A storied shop that’s been selling software to biopharma companies since 1990, Schrödinger has been wading deeper into therapeutics in the past decade. With a suite of molecular simulation tools, it has helped launch splashy biotechs like Nimbus Therapeutics and Morphic Therapeutic and convinced Takeda last year to take a try on its in silico platform for $170 million per program in neurodegenerative diseases and schizophrenia. That followed a similar partnership with Sanofi, which wanted to look into autoimmune diseases and oncology.

“The investment will allow us to continue to advance our technology platform to help our users accelerate their work in life sciences and materials design,” said Schrödinger CEO Ramy Farid. “We are also excited to expand our drug discovery efforts, leveraging our platform to grow our pipeline and discover new medicines more efficiently.”

The company didn’t specify what area its discovery programs will focus on. Its worldwide team of around 400 currently covers an extensive range of therapeutic areas, from antifungal and fibrosis to metabolic diseases and type 2 diabetes.

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