Google’s Alphabet jumps into the drug business with the launch of Isomorphic Labs, an AI-driven drug discovery startup
The global pharmaceutical manufacturing market size was valued at $405.52 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.34% from 2021 to 2028. Thanks to covid vaccines, pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and others have seen their market cap rising to new heights since the pandemic began over 18 months ago. Who doesn’t want to make money while saving lives?
Now, Google parent company Alphabet wants a piece of the pie. Today, Alphabet announced it has launched a new drug discovery company in the U.K. called Isomorphic Labs, according to a report from CNBC.
The new drug startup company will build on research carried out by London artificial intelligence lab DeepMind, an AI startup company Google acquired in 2014. Meanwhile, Nexperia, a Dutch firm that is 100%-owned by China’s Wingtech Technology, told CNBC that the deal talks are ongoing.
According to a filing with Companies House, the U.K. company registry, Isomorphic Labs was incorporated in February but Alphabet is just making the announcement public for the first time. Demis Hassabis, the co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, is also the founder and CEO of Isomorphic Labs. He will remain CEO of DeepMind.
In a blog post, Hassabis described Isomorphic Labs as a commercial venture with a mission to “reimagine the entire drug discovery process from the ground up.” Hassabis added:
“Building on this advance, today, I’m thrilled to announce the creation of a new Alphabet company – Isomorphic Labs – a commercial venture with the mission to reimagine the entire drug discovery process from the ground up with an AI-first approach and, ultimately, to model and understand some of the fundamental mechanisms of life.”
A spokesperson for Isomorphic Labs stressed that the company is separate from DeepMind and that it has its own dedicated resources without specifics on how many staff or how much capital the new company has at its disposal.
“Where relevant, teams from both companies may collaborate, especially in the early days as Isomorphic Labs is hiring its team,” the spokesperson said.
What’s next for Isomorphic Labs
Going forward, Hassabis said Isomorphic Labs plans to “partner with pharmaceutical and biomedical companies.” He also clarified that he will serve as CEO for Isomorphic’s initial phase while remaining as DeepMind CEO. No word if someone else will take over when the company full gets off the ground.
The company also plans to build a world-class multidisciplinary team, with deep expertise in areas such as AI, biology, medicinal chemistry, biophysics, and engineering, brought together in a highly collaborative and innovative environment.