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Generate Biomedicines raises $273 million in latest round of funding

The building in Somerville that houses Generate Biomedicine .Generate Bio

Somerville-based Generate Biomedicines, working on AI-powered drug discovery, recently raised $273 million in its latest funding round.

The money arrives amid a slump in biotech investments this year, as investors stick to the sidelines because of economic uncertainty and interest rate hikes. Still, the Flagship Pioneering-backed company managed to raise a significant sum from prior investors such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Fidelity Management & Research Company, as well as several new ones. In fact, 25 percent of the funding round came from new investors.

“We have been very fortunate to have both an incredibly strong, high-quality group of existing investors from our Series B,” CFO Jason Silvers said. “In addition to that we were very fortunate to attract many new investors who got to learn about our technology, about our capabilities, and really appreciate the revolution in drug discovery that we believe Generate is at the forefront of.”

Since its 2018 launch out of Flagship — which also launched COVID vaccine provider Moderna — Generate has focused on a wide range of “large molecule” biotherapeutics using computer models to create new drugs. Essentially, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Generate’s software can create models for entirely new proteins, like antibodies and enzymes — beyond what’s found in nature — that can be used to address various diseases. This field, known as generative biology, is part of a “new era of programmable drug generation.”

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The company raised $370 million in November 2021 and has since moved one of its antibodies to its first clinical trial stage. Generate is also preparing a second clinical trial for another drug soon. It also struck up a collaboration agreement with Amgen last year that brought in $50 million, with an eventual $1.9 billion payout.

With the latest round of funding, Generate has raised nearly $700 million in equity financing since 2020.

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According to Silvers, the influx of capital will help Generate bring other drug programs into clinical and preclinical testing stages. They plan to file several applications to administer new drugs with the FDA in 2024 and initiate multiple clinical trials yearly after that, the press release stated. A lot of money goes into scaling up the manufacturing to prepare for the clinical trials, conducting toxicology studies and actually running the trials.

The company has grown from 80 employees in late 2021 to 290 today, with strong technical capabilities as well as proficiency in biology. While headcount is below its goals set in 2021, Silvers said the company has grown according to the company’s needs.

“Our goal has really been to be prudent about our growth,” Silvers said. “Making sure that we continue to grow in a way that we can support both the 17 programs we have today as well as the 10 programs annually, and we believe that growth trajectory will lead us to that.”


Aruni Soni can be reached at aruni.soni@globe.com. Follow her @AruniSoni.