Human bone marrow under the microscope to illustrate myelofibrosis blood cancer, the diagnosis of which could be aided by new AI tools
Credit: Ivan Mattioli/Getty Images

AI firm Relation Therapeutics has $35 million in new seed financing in a round led by DCVC and co-led by NVIDIA’s venture, NVentures. Relation Tx’s current main focus is discovery of treatments for osteoporosis. This round brings Relation’s total seed fundraising to $60 million. 

“This investment offers mored than just funding; it brings on board key strategic development partners NVIDIA, Deerfield ​​Management Company and ARK Invest, along with the expertise of our top-tier institutional investors,” said Charles Campbell Roberts, Co-founder and Chair of Relation Therapeutics.

Osteoporosis affects over 45 million patients across the U.S., Europe, and Japan. 

Relation has built proprietary data resources, including Osteomics, a clinical observational study to create, “the world’s largest functional, single-cell bone atlas derived from human patient tissue.” That includes “deeply characterized samples using single-cell, spatial omics, imaging, genomics, proteomics and clinical phenotype.”

The company says its technologies “enable it to generate, analyze and interpret human data about the behavior of genes, cells and tissues in an unparalleled fashion.” It says its Lab-in-the-Loop integrates single-cell analysis, genomics, and machine learning to build rich maps of disease biology. From this, the company says, it discovers targets and subsequently develops medicines. 

The funds raised will enable Relation to advance its osteoporosis pipeline towards the clinic and initiate discovery campaigns in new therapeutic areas of high unmet need.

“We see Relation as a leader in the emerging techbio economy,” said Jason Pontin, general partner at DCVC, who sits on Relation’s board. “The successful techbio companies will be those who build a defensible advantage by generating world-class datasets about the biology of interest, and who apply the latest advances in large AI models with unique guardrails to extract actionable and credible predictions that guide wet-lab work—all in the service of transforming drug discovery. Relation is swiftly proving out that strategy for osteoporosis as a first indication, and we can’t wait for them to bring their advantages to bear on other disease areas in their pipeline.”

This round of funding included initial seed lead Magnetic Ventures, existing investors Khosla Ventures, and Abcam founder Jonathan Milner, and new investors ARK Invest and Deerfield Management Company.

“By harnessing generative AI, drug discovery teams can design novel molecules with the desired properties for new medicines,” said Mohamed “Sid” Siddeek, corporate vice president and head of NVentures. “Relation is a leader in this approach, helping set the foundation for new drug discoveries to benefit patients around the world.”

“Magnetic backed Relation early due to our strong belief in the power of their pioneering technology platform, which combines the most advanced ML with omics, and our confidence in the team,” said Christine Aylward, founder, Magnetic Ventures. 

“Traditional pathways of drug discovery and development have been marred by inefficiencies and a lack of predictability. Leveraging a ‘Lab-in-the-Loop’ strategy, Relation’s approach exemplifies the transformative potential of AI and marks a milestone in the journey towards innovative drug development. We are thrilled to see Relation’s progress, and the addition of these new strategic investors,” she added.

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