Protai, an AI-based platform for protein analysis, has today emerged from stealth and announced that it has raised $8 million in Seed funding co-led by Grove Ventures and Pitango Health. The funding will be used to further develop its platform, accelerate discovery programs, and increase partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
The company has developed an end-to-end AI-based platform that can map the course of a disease on the protein level, enhancing the ability to observe cellular function and improving the way new drugs are discovered. This approach can help Protai increase accuracy in drug discovery and improve the R&D process while lowering costs.
“Protai’s platform is like a unique compass for directing drug discovery,” said Eran Seger, CEO and co-founder of Protai. “We are systematically mapping diseases on the protein level to create an entirely new layer of functional information which enables us to identify therapeutic and diagnostic targets to better combat a wide range of complex diseases.”
Protai has created what it says is the largest and most diverse proteomic database in the world, with more than 50,000 clinical samples and samples from various organs and indicators. It helps the company establish a baseline and then stimulate biological functional processes for a variety of diseases and speed up the drug R&D via preclinical and clinical stages.
“Protai is leading a paradigm shift in proteomics-based drug discovery by creating a new class of high-quality data that was previously not available to drug researchers and development professionals,” said Ittai Harel, General Partner at Pitango Venture Capital. “We are proud to support the founders and the company, as we expect its advanced technology to promote effective novel drug and biomarker development.”
Lior Handelsman, General Partner at Grove Ventures, added: “Our investment in Protai highlights Grove Ventures’ increasing commitment to the potential of AI in improving drug discovery and development. We are happy to partner with this exceptional team, and we are positive that Protai will make a huge leap forward in how drug candidates are selected and in how people are treated and cured.”
Protai was founded in 2021 by Seger and Kirill Pevzner, who serves as the company’s CTO. Protai’s Advisory Board includes proteomics and machine learning researchers including, Professor Tami Geiger, from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Professor Alexey Nesvizhskii from the University of Michigan, and Professor Avi Ma’ayan, the Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Bioinformatics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and an expert in the application of machine learning for drug discovery.