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

6/28/11Follow @arleneweintraub

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target IRAK4 and shown proof-of-concept in early basic studies. “This occurred only 9 months after we initiated work on the target with a virtual screen,” says Jonathan Montagu, V.P. of business operations at Nimbus in an e-mail.

The new money will go towards both programs. The company’s scientists believe IRAK4′s role in inflammatory disease will allow them to pursue a range of therapeutic applications for the company’s drug candidates. Nimbus also plans to expand the pipeline to include new targets.

Nimbus’s slate of investors brings a broad and impressive range of expertise to the startup. “The Lilly Ventures team brings strong operational and scientific experience to the table along with the strategic relationship with Eli Lilly & Company,” Montagu says. “As a result, we believe that Lilly Ventures provides significant value-add beyond the pure capital investment.”

Steve Hall, a partner at Lilly Ventures, will join Nimbus’s board as part of the financing—an addition that will bring much more than financial expertise to the board, Montagu says. “Steve Hall is a talented medicinal chemist and has a strong track record of building value around important drug targets,” he says. “He is playing an active role in helping prosecute our lead programs.” Kent Gossett, a physician and partner at SR One, will also join the board.

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