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Biotech start-up Cradle has garnered 24 million dollar in Series A funding, bringing its total capital to 3 millon dollar, the start-up writes in a press release. The biotech trailblazer, with roots in Delft (The Netherlands) and Zurich (Switzerland), is set to disrupt the industry with its AI-driven platform designed to fast-track protein design. Cradle’s technology is not only a boon for speeding up the creation of enzymes, vaccines, and other biological products but also aims to tackle global health and environmental challenges.

  • Cradle, a biotech company, has secured $24 million in Series A funding, bringing its total capital to $33 million;
  • The company’s AI-driven platform aims to revolutionize protein design, potentially halving research time and proving twice as efficient as current industry standards;
  • Cradle’s technology has already attracted major partnerships across pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and materials sectors, positioning itself as a transformative force in research and development.

Revolutionising R&D: Cradle’s AI-driven ascent

Cradle’s recent financial boost signifies not just a capital achievement but a strategic expansion. The influx of funds, led by Index Ventures and Kindred Capital, is earmarked to accelerate growth across various domains. The firm is on a mission to enhance its product development and sales capabilities, a move that will likely reverberate through the biotech sector. Cradle’s generative AI platform has already demonstrated its ability to double the pace of project progression compared to industry benchmarks, an efficiency that could reshape research and development landscapes.

The company has attracted considerable attention, not only for its innovative technology but also for the calibre of its partnerships. Cradle has secured collaborations with nine industry leaders, working on over a dozen R&D projects. These partnerships, spanning the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and materials sectors, are testaments to the platform’s versatility and its potential to revolutionise protein modalities, including enzymes, vaccines, peptides, and antibodies.

AI: The new language of biology

Cradle’s pioneering approach applies generative AI to the realm of biology, essentially utilising machine learning to interpret and design the very building blocks of life. This novel application of AI isn’t just about enhancing existing processes; it’s about creating solutions that were previously inconceivable with traditional methods. Stef van Grieken, Cradle’s CEO and co-founder, puts it succinctly in an interview with Bloomberg. “By using generative AI and machine learning to help biologists design and optimise proteins faster and more efficiently, we can help research and development teams innovate faster, spend less and ultimately be more successful in developing new products.”

From AI software to real-world solutions

The implications of Cradle’s technology are tangible. By significantly shortening R&D timeframes—projects are experiencing a reduction of over half the usual development time—the platform is setting a new standard for the industry. Its software facilitates faster protein development, enzyme tweaking, and fermentation processes, which are critical in the creation of a myriad of biologically derived products from detergents to bioplastics.

Cradle’s success is hinged on the translation of AI software designs into real-world applications. To this end, the company is establishing a new lab in Amsterdam, where experiments conceived by AI software will be executed by robots, streamlining the process from design to production. This integration of cutting-edge AI with practical experimentation is what sets Cradle apart, as it looks to harness the potential of enzymes for new applications across various industries.

Building a biotech nexus in the Netherlands and beyond

Despite its international presence, Cradle maintains strong roots in the Netherlands, a country renowned for its thriving biotech scene. This strategic positioning allows Cradle to leverage the Netherlands’ rich biotech ecosystem while also benefiting from Switzerland’s robust innovation landscape. As Cradle continues to develop its platform, the dual home bases in Delft and Zurich serve as a testament to the company’s commitment to global biotech innovation.