Bayer's venture arm finds another startup worth leaping for with $40M Gandeeva financing

Leaps by Bayer has funded its third biotech startup in a week with a contribution to a $40 million round for Gandeeva Therapeutics, a drug discovery biotech using AI to examine protein-drug interactions for the development of new therapies.

Leaps and Lux Capital led the series A financing, with additional contributions from Amgen Ventures and other firms.

Gandeeva, founded in 2021, is centered around its AI-driven cryogenic electron microscopy platform, which founder and CEO Sriram Subramaniam, Ph.D., said could have a huge impact on accelerating disease identification.

The technology is designed to combine Gandeeva’s highly detailed cryo-EM protein imaging with machine learning to accelerate the process of mapping disease proteins and identifying how different drugs will react with those proteins. The ultimate goal is to find new targets for the development of precision medicines.

Gandeeva has yet to mention which specific diseases it’s targeting, besides some mention of using their platform to successfully photograph a spike protein from the COVID-19 omicron variant.

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“We believe Gandeeva’s platform will allow us to combine prediction and experimentation to visualize and optimize drug design at atomic scale and with unprecedented speed,” said Jürgen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer.

Leaps has been in the news a lot the past week. The firm led an $80 million series A round for Cellino Biotech, a cell therapy manufacturer, and pitched in to gene editing biotech Metagenomi’s $175 million series B.