Turbine Raises EUR 5.7M to Advance Simulation-first Oncology Pipeline

07 January 2021

Turbine, a company simulating cellular decision making to unlock novel oncology therapies, today announces the successful closing of its pre-Series A round by raising EUR 5.7 million (USD 6.85m). The transatlantic round was co-led by new investors Accel and XTX Ventures and included Boston Millenia Partners who joined the existing syndicate comprising Delin Ventures, Atlantic Labs and o2h Ventures.

Most wet-lab experiments offer limited insight into the complex underlying biology of the disease. As a result, existing preclinical models in oncology often fail to translate into successful drugs in the clinic. To improve these outcomes, Turbine has created the Simulated Cell™ comprising an advanced digital model of human cell behaviour and cloud-based simulated experiments. The Simulated Cell™ can rapidly run unlimited number of experiments in comparison to wet-lab methods.

The platform – guided by AI algorithms – offers significant benefits over industry gold standard screening methods, such as CRISPR, by providing granular insight into the molecular mechanism of target-disease interactions. Supported by an enhanced biological understanding of the target intervention and the subset of cancer patients most likely to respond, Turbine’s simulation-based approach increases the likelihood of clinical success.

The team aims to tackle the highest unmet need in oncology diseases, following the launch of a PARP resistance-focused pipeline in 2019. PARP inhibition is the most established area for ground-breaking cancer therapies in DNA Damage Response (DDR). However, it poses challenges for drug development as around 40% of patients do not respond to PARP inhibitors, and the majority of those who do, acquire resistance after two years1. Turbine has uncovered three novel target candidates against multiple PARP resistance mechanisms with its lead asset in hit validation phase.

Szabolcs Nagy, CEO of Turbine, said: “The proceeds from the current financing will be used to tackle additional areas of high unmet need in oncology with novel simulation-first targets and progressing the PARP resistance portfolio towards later stages of development.”

Radhika Ananth, Vice President of Accel, said: “We have been evaluating technology-enabled drug discovery companies with high potential to bring life-changing medicines to patients. Turbine stood out for the quality and level of biological insight its platform could unlock. The team’s genuine understanding of cell simulation technology coupled with translational medicine expertise provide a powerful combination to revolutionise the failure-prone drug discovery process.”

Ekaterina Holt, Head of XTX Ventures, commented: “We have been very impressed with the technology developed by Turbine to date and are confident in their ability to algorithmically improve and further automate drug discovery. We are committed to supporting them as they drive the company forward in 2021.”

Alan Barge, Venture Partner of Delin Ventures and Scientific Advisory Board Member of Turbine, said: “The team have made spectacular progress in a year to prove their approach can address the problem of linking biological targets to disease and design preclinical programs that can translate successfully into the clinic. We believe Turbine can fundamentally change the way in which novel targets in precision oncology are identified.”

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