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Small Molecule Giants: Atomwise and the AI-Driven Future of Medicine

  • Join us as we explore how AI-driven innovation is reshaping drug discovery and propelling us toward a future of faster, more effective medicines, ultimately changing the lives of billions worldwide.
  • Harnessing the power of AI, Atomwise's cutting-edge AtomNet® technology unlocks new possibilities in small molecule drug development, enabling researchers to tackle over 600 unique disease targets with unprecedented precision. 
  • It has raised over $174 million from leading venture capital firms to advance its mission to make better medicines, faster

In every sphere of human endeavour, innovation has always been the key that opens the doors to progress, and drug research is no exception. The conventional trial-and-error approach to finding improved drugs may be excruciatingly slow, costly, and often restricted in its promise.

However, with the advent of cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, the pharmaceutical sector has entered a new era of potential. AI-driven innovation has the promise of speeding up drug discovery and making it more efficient, precise, and cost-effective.

What is Atomwise?

Enter Atomwise, an innovative preclinical pharmaceutical company. This tech-savvy pharmaceutical startup is no ordinary player; it's rewriting the rules of drug discovery 

Atomwise is a company revolutionizing how drugs are discovered with AI. It has strengthened its drug discovery and development expertise by expanding its Board of Directors and creating a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

These appointments signal a critical milestone for Atomwise as the company focuses on its own internal pipeline. Their AtomNet® technology has been used to unlock more undruggable targets than any other AI drug discovery platform. 

The company leverages the power of AI to revolutionize small-molecule drug discovery, a field of pharmaceutical research that focuses on identifying and developing small organic molecules as potential drugs.

The Atomwise team invented the use of deep learning for structure-based drug design; this technology underpins Atomwise’s best-in-class AI discovery engine, which is differentiated by its ability to find and optimize novel chemical matter.


While at the University of Toronto, the founders, Abraham Heifets and Raj Ganguly, saw early on how machine learning and convolutional neural networks could be applied to image recognition.

Atomwise was founded after they proved the concept that the same technology could be applied to drug discovery by performing computational screens to find molecules worth testing in the lab.

Building on this early success they've expanded the robustness of our models through early collaborations with their academic (AIMS program) and biopharma partnerships. Their technology now scales to screen billions of molecules for multiple projects simultaneously.

AI is now used as a robust engine for drug discovery resulting in jointly held assets and their wholly owned pipeline to address previously undrugged diseases.

Atomwise has extensively validated its discovery engine, delivering hit ID success in over 200 academic and collaboration projects to date including a wide variety of protein types and numerous “hard-to-drug” targets.

Atomwise is building a wholly-owned pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates, with two programs in lead optimization and programs in immunology and oncology in the discovery stage.


They are tackling over 600 unique disease targets with more than 250 partners around the world, including leading pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and emerging biotechnology companies. Atomwise has raised a total of $176.6M from leading venture capital firms to advance our mission to make better medicines, faster. 

The company is funded by 22 investors. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Tencent are the most recent investors. Atomwise has a post-money valuation in the range of $500M to $1B as of Aug 11, 2020, according to PrivCo. 

At this pivotal moment in history, the need for ground-breaking medications has reached unprecedented heights. The silver lining is our capacity to leverage increasing technologies and accept scientific advancements, which propels drug discovery to new heights.

The combination of fresh data, cutting-edge algorithms, and powerful computation platforms not only elevates our collaborative efforts but also equips us to solve the most difficult medical mysteries. We have the ability to open a future where a billion lives can be spared and mankind can prosper like never before. 

With Atomwise leading the charge, the future of drug discovery is no longer atom-sized, but rather atom-wise—precise, efficient, and packed with potential.

Edited by Shruti Thapa