Insilico Medicine, an AI-based platform for drug development and discovery headquartered in Hong Kong, announced that it has closed a $255 million Series C funding round led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

The funding was also participated in by current investors including Qiming Venture Partners, Pavilion Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners, Formic Ventures, Baidu Ventures, and new investors including CPE, OrbiMed, Mirae Asset Capital, B Capital Group, Deerfield Management, Maison Capital, Lake Bleu Capital, President International Development Corporation, Sequoia Capital China and Sage Partners, the company said in a statement.

Proceeds from the funding will be used to progress Insilico Medicine’s current therapeutic programs into human clinical trials, initiate multiple new programs for novel and difficult targets, and further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities, the company added.

“The artificial intelligence technologies we invented are now demonstrating impressive results in both biology and chemistry delivering valuable and absolutely novel therapeutic assets with high probability of clinical success,” Insilico Medicine founder and Chief Executive Officer Alex Zhavoronkov said.

“We are pleased and proud to have gained the recognition and investment from some of the world’s most reputable investors with strong expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry. With their support, we will continue to innovate and bring revolutionary solutions to the pharmaceutical industry,” he added.

Warburg Pincus managing director Min Fang will join Insilico Medicine’s board of directors, according to the statement announcing the funding.

Since the previous round of funding, Insilico Medicine said it is making its technologies available for licensing for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies looking to gain a head start in AI and accelerate their drug discovery programs. It has collaborated with biopharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Astellas, Johnson & Johnson, Taisho, among others. Insilico Medicine also exclusively partnered with the main innovative sustainable agriculture company, Syngenta, on the discovery of novel molecules for sustainable regenerative farming.

It completed a $37 million Series B funding round in September 2019. The round was led by Qiming Venture Partners, joined by Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Baidu Ventures, Pavilion Capital, BOLD Capital Partners, and other investors including Series A investors.

Insilico Medicine also built a drug discovery team and platform in China and started multiple therapeutic programs targeting novel, difficult, and previously “undruggable” targets.

Insilico Medicine, a winner of the Resilience Award at the ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020, develops artificial intelligence systems that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for the generation of new molecular structures with specific properties.

It also develops software for the generation of synthetic biological data, target identification, and the prediction of clinical trial outcomes. The company integrates two business models: providing AI-powered drug discovery services and software through its Pharma.AI platform and developing its own pipeline of preclinical programs.

Since its inception in 2014, Insilico Medicine has raised over $310 million from expert pharmaceutical and technology investors and received multiple industry awards. The company has also published over 130 peer-reviewed papers and has applied for over 30 patents.

Warburg Pincus LLC is a global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $60 billion in private equity assets under management.

Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 19 private equity funds, which have invested more than $90 billion in over 930 companies in more than 40 countries.

Since entering China in 1994, Warburg Pincus has invested nearly $14 billion in nearly 140 companies in the region. Warburg Pincus is one of the most active investors in the China healthcare industry, having invested more than $1.85 billion in the sector.