Lithuania’s Biomatter Designs raises €500k to develop AI for Generative Protein Design

Vilnius-born startup Biomatter Designs has raised 500,000 in seed funding to further develop the company’s protein design technology and product pipeline.

Biomatter said 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,” said Laurynas Karpus, 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,” Karpus said in a statement.

The investment round was led by Practica Capital, accompanied by 70V and angel investors.

“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, said Donatas Keras, Partner at Practica Capital.