Data science startup Elucidata raises $1.7 million to transform drug discovery and accelerate growth
Elucidata Corporation, a data science startup focused on developing tools and software solutions for drug discovery, has raised $1.7 million in seed funding to transform drug discovery and accelerate growth. The latest financing round was led by Hyperplane Venture Capital along with several prominent angels participating.
Founded in 2015 by Abhishek Jha and Swetabh Pathak, Elucidata’s mission is to use data analytics to transform decision-making processes in R&D labs in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. They build algorithms and software to process, analyze and visualize large-omics data across metabolomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics among others. The company was founded with the mandate to transform the way biological data is used to drive decisions in R&D labs in both academia and industry. Polly, an end-to-end, vendor-neutral, cloud-based platform standardizes and streamlines the data analysis workflows for -omics experiments. Elucidata’s long-term goal is to utilize its data analysis platform to integrate different types of -omics data in order to understand cellular phenotypes and accelerate the pace of drug discovery. Elucidata has offices in Cambridge, MA, and New Delhi, India.
Elucidata’s tools allow drug discovery scientists to analyze complex datasets and effectively enable drug discovery. PollyTM, the company’s cloud-based data analytics platform, can drastically transform the end-to-end drug discovery process and allow for more rapid data turnaround and analysis. Elucidata’s novel metabolomics platform, released in 2018, is an extendable platform that can easily adapt to many types of data workflows and features an array of applications that can process, analyze, integrate, and visualize biological data across metabolomics, genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, among others.
“The way biological data is used to drive discovery in the industry is often slow and cumbersome,” says Elucidata co-founder Abhishek Jha.
“Our mission is to address the needs of all the very talented scientists who are discovering new life-saving drugs. They are sitting on very exciting datasets but are still manually crunching through spreadsheets to analyze vast amounts of data,” Jha adds. His experience at Agios Pharmaceuticals as an early member, Jha believes, has shaped his outlook of how data science can drive drug discovery. “Data generation has been modernized; data analysis is lagging. Elucidata aims to bridge this gap and ultimately impact human lives in profound ways.”
“Drug discovery is a slow and tedious process,” says co-founder Swetabh Pathak. “Polly lets you fail or iterate experiments faster and allows for cooperative, real-time collaboration, which makes target discovery more effective.”
Elucidata’s data-driven drug discovery platform is at the intersection of computational biology, software engineering, modeling, machine learning, statistics, and design. Over the past three years, Elucidata has partnered and rolled-out with 15 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to streamline their drug discovery process. In the last month alone, close to one-thousand -omics datasets were uploaded to Polly by scientists across the world.
“The ability to automate data processing allows you to spend more time applying the new information and pushing research forward,” said Dr. Richard Kibbey, Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and of Cellular And Molecular Physiology at Yale University. “Polly has the ability to allow different users with distinct ideas and expertise to contribute, build, develop, and take advantage of the research community as a whole.”
“It helps accelerate discovery in ways not possible through the current lab-to-lab or individual-to-individual coordination practices,” Dr. Kibbey added.
“Data analysis is the biggest bottleneck for metabolomics research. Elucidata has worked directly with us to streamline our analysis pipeline, accelerating the pace of our research,” explained Russell Jones of McGill University and the Van Andel Research Institute.
Elucidata is based out of Cambridge, MA, and New Delhi, India. The company has been bootstrapped to date and while it has already achieved profitability, the team plans to use the seed funding to expand its Cambridge team, add to its operations in New Delhi, and, according to Jha, “execute on and launch new exciting discovery tools.”
“The potential for Elucidata’s platform to improve the lives of countless people — from those suffering from diabetes to a wide range of other diseases — is unprecedented,” says Vivjan Myrto, Managing Partner at Hyperplane Venture Capital. “The impact on metabolomics is far-reaching, and I don’t even think we can truly imagine how Elucidata’s platform will enable vital drugs to get to the people who need them in the future. Being able to evaluate and analyze a cell in real-time is not out the realm of possibility anymore.”