Vilya, Inc. broke onto the BioForest biotech scene recently with $50M in Series A proceeds. The company will use cutting-edge computational techniques to develop innovative drugs for difficult-to-treat diseases.
Vilya’s proprietary platform leverages sophisticated machine learning algorithms to design therapeutic peptides that can cross the cell membrane. The Series A round was led by ARCH Venture Partners, which co-founded Vilya alongside a team of research scientists from the University of Washington’s Institute of Protein Design (IPD), led by David Baker, PhD.
In a paper published in the journal Cell, Baker and his team demonstrated that their computational methods can design membrane-permeable peptides. In particular, by tweaking the peptide’s structure so that it is less likely to accrue water molecules, the IPD team was able to synthesize compounds that could easily pass through the cell’s lipid membrane.