Nimbus, Seeded by Bill Gates, Raises $24 Million For Computer-Aided Drug Discovery

6/28/11Follow @arleneweintraub

Nimbus Discovery burst out of stealth mode in March with seed funding from none other than Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. Now Nimbus, a Cambridge, MA-based company that specializes in computer-aided drug discovery, is chalking up a second impressive milestone: It has raised a Series A funding round of $24 million, with money from Gates and from lead investors Atlas Venture, SR One, and Lilly Ventures.

Atlas first formed Nimbus in 2009 based on a strategic partnership with Schrodinger, a New York and Portland, OR-based company co-founded by Columbia University professor Richard Friesner. The alliance provides Nimbus with access to computational drug-discovery tools developed by Schrodinger, which help uncover the methods by which drugs bind to certain disease targets. Nimbus has exclusive rights to key targets pinpointed by that technology.

Nimbus is rapidly advancing two drug-discovery programs. One target it is pursuing, an enzyme called ACC, may be important in cancer and metabolic diseases such as obesity.

The second target, called IRAK4, is a protein involved in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and inflammation. Nimbus has already pinpointed promising drug-like compounds that … Next Page »

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