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EvolutionaryScale Secures $142M to Advance Generative AI in Biology

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EvolutionaryScale

EvolutionaryScale, an artificial intelligence startup focused on biology, has announced a successful seed funding round, raising $142 million. The company aims to leverage generative AI models to drive innovation and accelerate discoveries in the field of biology. With this significant investment, EvolutionaryScale is poised to make significant strides in applying AI to solve complex biological challenges.

Founding Team and Backers

EvolutionaryScale was founded by a team of former Meta AI researchers, led by Alexander Rives, Tom Secru, and Sal Candido. Their expertise in machine learning and computational biology has been instrumental in shaping the company's vision and approach. The seed funding round was led by prominent investors, including Nat Friedman, Daniel Gross, and Lux Capital. The round also saw participation from Amazon and Nvidia's venture capital arm, NVentures, demonstrating the strong industry support for EvolutionaryScale's mission.

ESM3: A Frontier Model for Biology

At the core of EvolutionaryScale's technology is ESM3, a cutting-edge AI model trained on a vast dataset of 2.78 billion proteins. This model has the capability to generate novel proteins, opening up new avenues for scientific research and applications. ESM3 can reason over the sequence, structure, and function of proteins, enabling it to create proteins with desired characteristics and functionalities.

To promote accessibility and collaboration, EvolutionaryScale has made ESM3 available for non-commercial use. Additionally, the company has partnered with AWS and Nvidia to provide access to ESM3 through their respective platforms, allowing select customers to leverage the model's capabilities for their research and development efforts.

EvolutionaryScale's ESM3 model has far-reaching implications across various domains. In the pharmaceutical industry, the model's ability to generate novel proteins can significantly accelerate drug discovery and development processes. By designing proteins with specific therapeutic properties, researchers can identify new drug targets and create innovative treatments for a wide range of diseases.

Moreover, ESM3 has the potential to facilitate the creation of entirely new classes of therapeutics. By leveraging the model's capabilities, scientists can explore uncharted protein design spaces and develop novel biomolecules with enhanced efficacy and specificity. This could lead to groundbreaking advancements in personalized medicine and targeted therapies.

Beyond healthcare, EvolutionaryScale's technology can also contribute to environmental protection efforts. For instance, the model could be used to design enzymes capable of degrading plastic waste, offering a sustainable solution to the growing problem of plastic pollution.

Overall, ESM3 has the potential to significantly accelerate scientific research across various fields. By providing researchers with a powerful tool to explore protein design and function, EvolutionaryScale is enabling faster and more efficient discovery processes, ultimately leading to transformative breakthroughs.

EvolutionaryScale

Competitive Landscape

EvolutionaryScale is not alone in its pursuit of applying AI to biology. Several other notable players in the field include DeepMind's Isomorphic Labs, Insitro, Recursion, and Inceptive. These companies are also leveraging AI and machine learning techniques to advance drug discovery and development.

However, EvolutionaryScale differentiates itself by focusing on scaling model training with broader biological data. By training ESM3 on a vast dataset encompassing 2.78 billion proteins, the company has created a model with unparalleled breadth and depth. This comprehensive training enables ESM3 to capture the intricacies and diversity of protein biology, potentially leading to more accurate and effective protein design.

Looking ahead, EvolutionaryScale aims to expand its capabilities beyond protein design. The company envisions developing a general-purpose AI model for biotech applications, capable of tackling a wide range of biological challenges. By continuously refining and scaling its models, EvolutionaryScale seeks to become a leading force in the intersection of AI and biology, driving transformative innovations across multiple industries.

A New Era of AI-Driven Biological Innovation

EvolutionaryScale's successful seed funding round marks a significant milestone in the application of generative AI to biology. With its groundbreaking ESM3 model and a strong team of experts, the company is well-positioned to revolutionize drug discovery, therapeutics, and environmental solutions. By leveraging the power of AI to design novel proteins, EvolutionaryScale is opening up new possibilities for scientific breakthroughs and transformative innovations. As the company navigates the challenges ahead and expands its capabilities, it has the potential to become a driving force in shaping the future of AI-driven biological research and development.

Alex McFarland is an AI journalist and writer exploring the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has collaborated with numerous AI startups and publications worldwide.