Amide Technologies Raises $16.5M to Expedite Frontier Drug Discovery

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Biotechnology firm Amide Technologies has unveiled its innovative peptide manufacturing platform, designed to synthesize complex peptides, and has secured $16.5 million in funding to expedite advancements in drug discovery. The recent funding includes a $7.5 million Series A Extension led by Engine Ventures, with participation from Forcefield Venture Fund. Previous rounds comprised a $3.55 million Series A led by Engine Ventures and a $5.45 million Seed Round led by Biological Engineering Ventures.

Peptides, composed of amino acids, have gained FDA approval for therapeutic drugs, addressing conditions such as autoimmune disorders, cancers, diabetes, and infections. Amide’s cutting-edge approach bridges a gap in the $4.7 billion industry, providing a solution for peptides that are too long to synthesize conventionally and impossible to obtain through biological expression.

Amide’s platform, developed in MIT’s Pentelute Lab, offers a novel Automated Fast Flow Peptide Synthesis (AFPS) method, enabling the synthesis of peptides up to 120 amino acids in length. This surpasses the traditional Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis (SPPS) technology’s limit of around 40 amino acids. Amide’s AFPS method utilizes heat and flow, allowing for the fast and reliable synthesis of complex peptides, including mirror image proteins and branched structures.

Mark Simon, CEO of Amide, emphasized the company’s commitment to providing access to large and unconventional compounds, eliminating barriers for discovery chemistry teams. The platform’s capabilities empower labs with faster design-build-test cycles, as urgent orders can be shipped within a week. Notably, Amide’s synthesis capabilities extend to hydrophobic peptides, cyclic constructs, branched peptides, and mirror image proteins, enabling the development of novel therapeutic modalities.

Reed Sturtevant, General Partner at Engine Ventures and Amide Board Member, highlighted the company’s role in accelerating drug discovery, emphasizing the critical importance of timing in the pharmaceutical field.

Amide plans to utilize the funding to scale operations, enhance instrumentation, and launch pilot programs with pharmaceutical partners. The company has already formed collaborations with organizations like The Salk Institute and Velia Therapeutics, manufacturing peptides that were previously challenging to produce.

The company’s notable hires in 2023 include CEO Mark Simon, who led the MIT team developing Amide’s platform technology from 2011 to 2017, and COO Philip Dixon, a former CIO of Silverrail Technologies with experience at Google and ITA Software. Jeremy Wertheimer, co-founder and Board Member, brings expertise as the founder and CEO of ITA Software, while MIT Professor Brad Pentelute, PhD, is also a co-founder and Board Member.

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