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Venture Capital News: Nference Raises $11M in Series A

CAMBRIDGE, MA, Leader in the emerging field of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered life sciences, today announced the completion of an $11 million Series A financing.
nference, a leader in the emerging field of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered life sciences, today announced the completion of an $11 million Series A financing. The transaction was led by Matrix Partners, with participation from existing investor Matrix Capital Management. The funding will be used to further develop the company's AI and R&D platforms, expand scientific operations in Cambridge MA and establish nference Labs in Bangalore, India.

"Natural language is the connective fabric across all therapeutic areas and support functions of large pharmaceutical companies," said Venky Soundararajan, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of nference and Qrativ. "Our AI platform leverages an ensemble of modern neural networks to decode the structure of literature. This kernel helps establish concordance between context-rich unstructured corpora and deep biological insights from structured databases spanning genomics to real world evidence. This presents a paradigm shift toward hypothesis-free scientific research and AI-augmented R&D decision-making."

The nference team, comprised of successful serial tech entrepreneurs and leading clinical, data and research scientists trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School, works closely with pharmaceutical partners to solve some of today's biggest challenges in drug discovery and clinical research. This includes the identification of emerging targets and signaling pathways for disease processes with unmet need, stratification of patients in clinical trials, and prioritization of life-cycle opportunities for drugs in development. At the heart of these collaborations, the nference AI platform plays a central role in augmenting the scientists' abilities to generate holistic data-driven and unbiased hypotheses in a rapid manner.

"The nference AI technology is enabling an important step forward in digitizing biology. nference's approach reimagines big pharma R&D by enabling entirely novel hypotheses to emerge from the triangulation of insights across traditionally siloed structured databases and unstructured text documents," said Diego Miralles, M.D., scientific advisor to nference and former Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation. "This powerful platform establishes nference as a leader in the ongoing development of AI-powered drug discovery."

"In addition to empowering drug discovery, the nference AI technology has the potential to transform both early and late-stage clinical development by allowing trialists and pharmaceutical companies to better guide patient selection and sooner anticipate side effects of novel therapies," said Michael Gibson, M.D., scientific advisor to nference and Chief Executive Officer of the Baim Institute (Formerly Harvard Clinical Research Institute) and PERFUSE Research Institute at Harvard Medical School.

As the first significant move toward AI-powered drug development, nference and the Mayo Clinic established the Qrativ joint venture last year to purpose clinically-tested therapeutic programs for more optimal disease processes with significant unmet need. nference will continue to selectively establish additional partnerships with eminent healthcare organizations and pharmaceutical companies. These organizations have complementary expertise and rich troves of proprietary longitudinal data sets that amplify the impact of the nference AI platform in drugs, diagnostics, and digital solutions.

Newly Established Advisory Board

Dr. Gibson and Dr. Miralles are founding members of nference's Advisory Board. Additional members include:

George Church Ph.D., Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT
Paul Clemons, Ph.D., Director of Computational Chemical Biology and Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Bill Louv, Ph.D., President at Project Data Sphere and Former Chief Information Officer at GlaxoSmithKline
John Ho, M.D., Chief Strategy Officer at Charles River Laboratories
Andrew Badley, M.D., Associate Chair for Research, Department of Medicine, and Director - Office of Translation to Practice, Mayo Clinic; Chief Medical Officer at Qrativ
Anthony Sun, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zeno Pharmaceuticals and Former Partner, Aisling Capital
About nference
Powered by its artificial intelligence software platform, the nference mission is to synthesize the exponentially growing biomedical knowledge. nference uses state-of-the-art neural networks (shallow and deep learning models) for real-time, automated extraction of knowledge from the scientific, regulatory and commercial body of literature. The platform enables a diverse set of applications ranging from R&D to commercial strategy and operations in the life sciences ecosystem. nference is making biomedical knowledge computable, and building its AI platform to serve as the connective fabric for various silos of information that exist across health care enterprises. Founded by Murali Aravamudan and Venky Soundararajan, Ph.D., nference is led by a multidisciplinary team of serial entrepreneurs from the tech and biotech worlds and Ph.D.s in Biology/Genomics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School. The investors in nference are Matrix Partners and Matrix Capital Management. For more information, visit
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