COBALT advised Practica Capital on investing in a Lithuanian startup Biomatter Designs

2021 - 01 - 11

COBALT advised Practica Capital, a venture capital fund, which, together with 70V and angel investors, invests €500,000 in a Lithuanian start-up Biomatter Designs. The investment will enable the company to further drive its  artificial intelligence platform to develop computational methods for designing new protein molecules.

With their computational platform, Biomatter Designs are able to generate novel enzymes and protein therapeutics, which would otherwise be difficult to obtain by classical experimental and computational approaches.

Proteins are large, complex molecules that drive virtually every biological function. Naturally occuring proteins aid biochemical reactions, transport materials within the cell, transduce chemical signals, and play other crucial roles both in our bodies and around us. Proteins, when engineered to perform specific functions (e.g. binding and neutralizing pathogens, converting industrial waste to useful materials), have tremendous potential to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges across healthcare, food, agriculture and other industries.

To accelerate the burdensome and resource-intensive process of protein engineering, Biomatter Designs has developed a machine learning powered platform for next-generation computational protein design. The platform analyses vast amounts of natural protein data to learn the complex rules governing the functions of proteins and later applies the acquired knowledge to design new protein molecules.

“Our company is striving to shift the paradigm in protein engineering” – says Laurynas Karpus, the CEO of Biomatter Designs. “We are moving from classical protein discovery process to well-predictable computational protein design. Classical methods often resemble searching for a needle in the haystack – looking for the right answer in already existing or similar molecules. This takes a great amount of time and requires loads of expensive and time-consuming experimental data. This is where our technology steps in to intelligently augment the protein engineering process, allowing us to generate new proteins right from the first atom. When it comes to solving problems in healthcare or environmental sectors, we can’t afford to waste time.”

“We are very excited to back this bold and long-term vision of Biomatter Designs. The interdisciplinary approach combined with a strong and proven Lithuanian academic and industrial experience in protein engineering, also adding new abilities of AI can lead to unprecedented outcomes. The potential is truly vast”, – says Donatas Keras, Partner at Practica Capital.

COBALT advised on the structuring of the transaction, drafted transaction documentation, represented Practica Capital in negotiations, conducted legal due diligence and advised on other transaction-related matters. COBALT team was comprised of Partner Eva Suduiko and Senior Associate Aurelija Balčiūnė.

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