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Cradle, a start-up that has capitalized on a generative approach to protein design has procured $24M in new investment. The company emerged from stealth mode a little over a year ago, right when immense interest was building around large language models.

  • Key Insight and Approach: Cradle’s remarkable insight is the perception of long chains of amino acids that form proteins in our bodies as akin to an extraterrestrial programming language. It’s a language too complex for humans, but a possible task for AI. The platform provides insights on which proteins among a selection might survive in varied conditions like room temperature or acidity.
  • Results: Cradle’s methodology has garnered attention from pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Novozymes. The company has proposed that its technology could greatly reduce time and experimentation needed for creating functional proteins from scratch.
  • Current Projects: Cradle, under the leadership of CEO Stef van Grieken, is working on several internal projects. These include a dehalogenase to decontaminate soil, a growth factor for use in lab-grown meat, a transaminase for understanding certain diseases, and an antibody therapeutic.
  • Future Prospects: Cradle’s tech isn’t confined to drug development; it has potential applications in the food and other industrial sectors too. The intuitive interface requires no machine learning engineer to operate, making it a convenient tool for scientists and laboratories.

Cradle’s recent funding round of $24M is led by previous investor Index Ventures, with other participants including Kindred Capital, Chris Gibson, Tom Glocer, and others. This investment will support team expansion and sales growth, driving Cradle’s ambition to revolutionize protein design.

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