Biodesy eyes expansion into therapeutics R&D with new CEO and $20M in VC funding

A stethoscope and paper money.
Biodesy plans to use the proceeds to expand its scientific and commercial operations and to fund its work in drug discovery and development. (Getty/utah778)

As it looks to expand into biologics discovery and development, molecule-monitoring company Biodesy announced it has brought in $20 million in venture capital and appointed a new CEO.

Founded in 2013, Biodesy has been developing high-throughput systems that detect structural shifts in proteins and other biological molecules in real time, measuring how changes in shape can affect function, pathway regulation and responses to drugs and novel candidates.

One of the developers of those systems, former Chief Operations Officer Ariel Notcovich, was promoted to CEO to help drive biopharmaceutical adoption of the company's platform.

Meanwhile, the its founder and chief scientific officer, Josh Salafsky, will take a new job as an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco, while providing scientific support to Biodesy as an adviser.

The South San Francisco-based company’s series C funding round was led by Alexandria Venture Investments, with participation from 5AM Ventures, Pfizer Ventures and Roche Venture Fund.

Biodesy plans to use the proceeds to expand its scientific and commercial operations teams and form strategic partnerships, as well as to fund its work in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics.

“There is a significant unmet need in the industry for tools and technologies that enable a better understanding of structural changes,” said Mark Gallop, an executive-in-residence at 5AM Ventures, who joined Biodesy’s board of directors.

“Over the past four years, Ariel has led the development of a differentiated biophysical characterization tool that can help accelerate the discovery of a new wave of drugs that modulate critical functions of biological molecules,” Gallop said.

Before joining Biodesy in 2014, Notcovich held scientific leadership positions at Bio-Rad Laboratories, where he helped launch its protein technologies research group to develop products for imaging, chromatography, gel electrophoresis and blotting, as well as measuring protein interactions.