Looking to blend AI and human data, Valo Health scores new financing to test drug discovery platform in oncology, beyond
Companies looking to bring machine learning into drug discovery are a dime a dozen, but Boston-based Valo Health believes its proprietary platform could give it a leg up in identifying candidates for a range of therapeutic areas. Now, investors are placing a big down payment to see if Valo is right.
Valo Health, which aims to merge AI with human data to formulate cancer therapeutics and beyond, has closed a $190 million Series B financing round. Valo said the financing will expedite several new therapeutic programs using the company’s novel drug development platform.
Valo has keyed in on technology — dubbed the Opal Computational Platform — that integrates human data and artificial intelligence and machine learning to accelerate the drug discovery and development process. This has allowed the company to identify previously unsuspected associations between genetic markers and disease, and identify the specific changes in gene activity.
Valo thus far has focused on oncological, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases with an initial focus on oncology, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. In a release, Valo highlighted four cancer genes the company hopes to target in its current portfolio: NAMPT, which is associated with solid tumors and hematological cancers; PARP1, a key protein involved in DNA repair and programmed cell death; USP28, a gene tied to c-myc driven cancers; and HDAC3.
The $190 million comes in the form of preferred equity capital and raises Valo’s total raised to over $285 million. Financing was led by The Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Valo said in the release. Joining the financing round are all of Valo’s existing major investors, including Flagship Pioneering, and several new investors including Invus Public Equities, HBM Healthcare Investments, Atinum Investment, and Mirae Asset Capital.
The proceeds from the Series B, Valo said, will support the continued discovery and development of therapeutic programs and will further expand the Opal platform and working capital.