ASCEND by BenchSci harnesses proprietary text and image-based machine learning models, empowering scientists to dramatically improve the speed and success of research at any stage of pre-clinical drug development.
TORONTO, CANADA, May 25, 2023
BenchSci, a world leader in AI solutions for preclinical life sciences research and development (R&D), today announced a $95 million (US $70 million) Series D funding round led by Generation Investment Management, with participation from existing investors iNovia Capital, TCV, Golden Ventures and F-Prime Capital. The most recent funding brings BenchSci’s total funds raised to $218 million (US $170 million).
The funds will be used to expand the company’s revolutionary AI drug discovery platform, ASCEND™ by BenchSci, which enables scientists to discover biological connections, dramatically reduce trial-and-error experimentation and uncover risks early. ASCEND users from BenchSci’s top 10 customers were able to uncover novel targets and disease indications in 22% of key projects and reduced unnecessary experimentation by 40%, contributing to a new era of more efficient, AI-driven drug discovery.
“Our focus will always be on what will drive the greatest impact for our customers,” said Liran Belenzon, CEO and Co-Founder of the Canadian-based BenchSci. “Thousands of scientists use our platform every day to move their most promising drug discovery projects forward faster. This investment is validation of the incredible work of our team and the traction we have in the market with the largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world. With the industry 98% failure rate advancing medicines to patients in need, we’re grateful to partner with Generation who shares our thesis that purpose built, innovative AI must be deployed at scale within pharmaceutical R&D to solve the productivity crisis and bring novel medicines to patients years faster.”
BenchSci’s ASCEND platform empowers scientists at every stage of preclinical research, regardless of therapeutic area by turning inaccessible, unstructured, and unstandardized experimental evidence from external and internal data sources into actionable insights. Using a proprietary text and image-based machine learning approach, ASCEND decodes and connects the entire available history of biomedical research, combined with customer experimentation and procurement data, to create an unbiased and objective map of the underlying biology of disease. This approach not only helps scientists understand the feasibility of new or existing pursuits but also provides insights on how they can effectively test them and improve translation to clinical trials. This ultimately saves scientists weeks and months of investigation and failed experiment time, expediting the critical scientific conclusions that produce more promising pursuits from the onset. Today, BenchSci’s software is used by 16 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and by over 50,000 scientists working at more than 4,500 leading research centers worldwide.
“We believe more effective preclinical research is critical to a sustainable healthcare system -- drug development is expensive and this cost is only increasing. BenchSci is an example of how AI can support existing drug development by helping scientists focus their research on the most promising areas of science,” said Anthony Woolf, Growth Equity Partner at Generation Investment Management. “Previously, a scientist typically had to spend hundreds of hours to understand existing experiments and conclusions. With BenchSci’s models, scientists can find the same answer in minutes, accelerating drug discovery and reducing the time and cost to develop potentially life-saving drugs.”
Founded in 2015, BenchSci has grown to over 400 employees and was recently ranked among the fastest-growing tech companies in North America by Deloitte.
For more information about ASCEND and BenchSci, visit BenchSci.com.
BenchSci is a world leader in AI solutions for drug discovery. We help pharma organizations transform their R&D portfolio by surfacing the underlying biology of all diseases to revolutionize research and exponentially advance the speed and success of better medicine to patients. Backed by top-tier investors including Generation Investment Management, iNovia Capital, TCV, F-Prime, Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), and Golden Ventures, our platform accelerates science at 16 top-20 pharmaceutical companies and over 4,500 leading research centers worldwide. We’re a Deloitte Technology Fast 50TM and Fast 500TM winner, a certified Great Place to Work®, and a top-ranked company on Glassdoor.
About Generation Investment Management
Generation Investment Management LLP is dedicated to long-term investing, integrated sustainability research, and client alignment. It is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 and headquartered in London, with a US presence in San Francisco, with more than $32 billion of assets under management (as of 31 March 2023). Generation Investment Management LLP is authorized and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. In the U.S., Generation operates via Generation Investment Management US LLP, a Registered Investment Adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For further information, please visit www.generationim.com.