AI-driven drug company secures $372m Series D funding

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Formation Bio, a tech-driven and AI-native pharma company, has raised $372 million in a Series D financing.

The financing was led by a16z with significant participation from Sanofi. Current investors also joined the round, including Sequoia, Thrive, Emerson Collective, and Lachy Groom, along with new investors, such as SV Angel Growth and FPV Ventures.

As part of the financing, Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at a16z and Alfred Lin, Partner at Sequoia will join Formation Bio’s board of directors alongside existing board director Michael Moritz, Sr Advisor to Sequoia Heritage and board observer Kareem Zaki, Partner at Thrive Capital.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Formation Bio team on their journey to build an AI-enabled pharma company,” said Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at a16z. “Pharma represents one of the biggest industries in the world, and there is immense potential to make the drug development process more efficient. We’ve been impressed by the team and culture that the co-founders, Ben and Linhao, have built, one that brings together the best of pharma, tech, and AI to ultimately make an enduring impact for patients.”

Advancements in AI are creating more candidate drugs than the industry can progress. To address this bottleneck, Formation Bio (launched in 2016 as TrialSpark) has built technology platforms, processes, and capabilities with the aim of accelerating drug development and clinical trials.

The company partners, acquires, or in-licenses drugs from biotechs and pharma companies and develops those programmes past clinical proof of concept.

The company plans to allocate the new capital towards two primary objectives: acquiring and in-licensing candidate drugs and expanding their AI capabilities.

In May 2024, Formation Bio announced a new collaboration with OpenAI and Sanofi to jointly design and develop customised AI solutions for drug development.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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