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Iambic Raises $150 Million Series B

BIOTECH: Co. Expands Its Funding Round With Another $50 Million

SAN DIEGO – Iambic Therapeutics, a biotech company using artificial intelligence (AI) for improved drug discovery, has expanded its latest funding round with another $50 million in Series B funding, bringing its total Series B to $150 million.

The massive Series B funding round was  led by Ascenta Capital and Abingworth. The Series B extension was led by Mubadala and Exor Ventures. Combined, Iambic’s raise is one of the largest venture financings for a San Diego-based biotech startup in 2024.

Tom Miller
CEO and Co-founder
Iambic Therapeutics

Tom Miller, chief executive and co-founder of Iambic Therapeutics, told the San Diego Business Journal that the fresh funding will allow the team to focus on bringing exciting clinical assets through Phase 1 trials.

“We are delighted to build this strong team of investors around the company who share our conviction in the demonstrated power of the Iambic AI-driven technology platform to deliver highly differentiated drugs to the clinic,” said Miller.

AI for Drug Discovery

The 4-year-old company has raised more than $220 million since its inception. That war chest will keep the company on track going into the next year, as it seeks to address unmet medical needs in the clinic using its AI-powered platform.

Iambic Therapeutics, which launched in 2020, brings together software engineers and drug-hunting scientists, all sharing the goal of using artificial intelligence to optimize properties of small molecule drugs.

Using the AI, it claims it can accelerate drug discovery, pointing to the two years it took to take its lead project from program launch to IND to make its case. That candidate, IAM-1363, entered the clinic in Q1 2024, said Miller.

Investor Appetite, Hot Sector

Venture capitalists and institutional investors were attracted by the company’s ability to use AI to transform the pace of drug discovery.

“Iambic is a true innovator, both in the demonstrated accuracy and speed of its state-of-the art AI drug discovery models, and its ability to rapidly advance candidates from discovery and into human studies,” said Ayman al Abdallah, Partner at Mubadala Capital.

He also noted that his investment firm is excited to see how the startup leverages its machine learning and drug hunting expertise to help deliver on the promise of AI to bring potential life-saving medicines to patients.

Other competitors in the biotech space that use AI include Xaira Therapeutics, which has raised over $1 billion in funding and San Fransico-based Insitro, which has raised over $600 million in venture capital funding.

Miller pointed out that the Iambic solution is differentiated, as it is able to connect its AI predictions within a wet laboratory to test and improve them, allowing the company to make better therapeutics.

Looking Ahead

About six months ago, IAM1363  was submitted to the FDA as an investigational new drug (IND) and entered the clinic in Q1 2024 with Phase 1 human clinical trials in patients with HER2-driven cancers, including metastatic breast, lung and colorectal cancer.

Iambic has another other lead program, called IAM-C1, which could break new ground. The small molecule is designed to inhibit the cell-cycle kinases CDK2 and CDK4.

Major pharma companies such as Pfizer, Novartis and Eli Lilly are also building out their pipelines to have an arsenal of approved therapeutics in the same category.

Iambic is also a member of the NVIDIA’s Inception program, and NVIDIA was an investor in the series B round. Iambic plans to leverage NVIDIA technology such as the NVIDIA DGX Cloud AI supercomputing platform and the NVIDIA BioNeMo cloud service to accelerate discovery.

In February, Iambic moved into a brand new, 12,000-square-foot office in the heart of Sorrento Valley. It employs roughly 60 workers and plans to grow modestly over the next 12 months.

“Iambic has benefited tremendously from the San Diego community,” said Miller. “We have been able to recruit amazing scientists and build out a strong team locally, not only on the AI talent side but also in terms of the drug discovery side.”

Iambic has received investment dollars from top VC firms and private capital allocators including Illumina Ventures, Coatue and Sequoia, among several others.

Iambic Therapeutics
FOUNDED: 2019
CEO and Co-founder: Tom Miller
Headquarters: La Jolla
Business: Biotech leveraging AI for drug discovery
Funding: $193 million, to date
Employees: 80
Website: www.iambic.ai
NOTABLE: Iambic is headquartered in San Diego; now employs approximately 80 employees; has raised over $220 million.

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