Nuritas, an Irish biotech company that uses data mining of molecules in food and food byproducts to identify supplements and new drugs, has secured a €30 million investment.
The investment, which comes from the European Investment Bank (EIB), will enable Nuritas to access tranched financing as required to scale up the development of new therapeutics in areas such as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and diabetes treatment.
“It is a hugely meaningful mark of confidence and support for Nuritas, as such a small percentage of applicants pass the extensive diligence criteria for a facility of this substance,” said chief finance officer Greg Stafford.
Nuritas, which was founded in 2014, uses big data techniques to discover peptides – molecules in food and food byproducts – that can be used by the life sciences sector in supplements and new drugs. The company says it can find these peptides 10 times faster and 500 times more accurately than traditional methods while also significantly reducing costs.
Nuritas has already developed and patented health-improving ingredients that can address global challenges as broad as inflammation, diabetes, and MRSA. Last month it announced PeptAIde, the world’s first bioactive ingredient discovered and delivered through artificial intelligence.
“Our goal is global and it to improve the lives of billions of people,” company founder Nora Khaldi has previously said.
Founded by Trinity-trained mathematician and bioinformatics specialist Nora Khaldi, Nuritas has previously raised $30 million (€26 million), including $20 million (€17.5 million) in a series round led by Chicago-based Cultivian Sandbox Ventures late last year.
Other backers of the company include U2's Bono and The Edge, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff, Singapore-based VisVires New Protein and angel investor Ali Partovi.
The new investment is the first time the EIB has invested in an Irish biotech company.
“Nuritas has already demonstrated through PeptAIde, their first product launch this year, how the discovery of healthcare products can be rapidly accelerated using artificial intelligence,” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank president.
“During due diligence over recent months the EIB has been impressed by their innovative use of technology and the number of global deals already achieved and they now become the first Irish biotech firm to benefit from the EIB’s dedicated European growth finance facility,” he added.
The EIB, which is the financial arm of the European Union, last year provided €1 billion in financing for projects in the Republic.
The bank, which has traditionally backed infrastructure projects, has increased lending to the private sector in recent years for companies such as listed Irish life sciences group Malin and agritech firm Devenish Nutrition.