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Drug-discovery startup Engine raises $10m in record-breaking seed round

US-Singaporean drug-discovery platform Engine BioSciences has raised US$10 million in funding, in one of the largest seed rounds on record in Southeast Asia.

Silicon Valley-based Danhua Capital and Chinese firm 6 Dimensions Capital co-led the round. Temasek subsidiary Pavilion Capital and EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, also participated, alongside Baidu Ventures, WI Harper, Nest.Bio Ventures, and WuXi AppTec.

Engine said it will use the funds to continue developing its drug-discovery platform, expand its scientific and executive teams in Singapore and San Francisco, and carry out preclinical studies.

The startup deploys a combination of biological research and artificial intelligence to discover and develop better therapies for key diseases. It was founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Jeffrey Lu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) associate professor Timothy Lu, and Singaporean investor Daphne Teo, along with assistant professors Hu Li from the Mayo Clinic and Prashant Mali from the University of California, San Diego.

Mega-seeds

Engine’s latest fundraise is the largest amount of seed funding raised by a life sciences startup in the region, and is also among the largest seed rounds closed in any industry in Southeast Asia, according to Tech in Asia data.

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