DURHAM – Polaris Quantum Biotech (PQB), which recently came out of stealth mode to launch a new drug discovery platform, has raised an additional $235,000 in equity, according to a securities filing.

That puts around $485,000 in total to its coffers to date, after raising $250,000 in equity last month. Another $115,000 remains to be sold.

Last month, the Durham startup, with UK-based Fujitsu, launched its platform that is a combination of quantum-inspired technology, machine learning, hybrid quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics simulations (QM/MM).

The result, its co-founder Dr. Shahar Keinan says, is a new solution that enables significantly faster and cost-effective discovery of de novo lead molecules (repeat identification) that are used for the development of new drugs.

For many diseases the right drug still hasn’t been found, she added, and outbreaks such as the coronavirus are only highlighting the necessity for faster processes to find a cure in our world of global interconnections.

The startup is actively tracking scientific developments with COVID-19, and is pursuing avenues to add its technology to the global effort to quickly find a vaccine for coronavirus.

The new platform will be able to produce up to 100 drug blueprints per year, the company says, compressing the lead time for preclinical drug candidates “from five years to four months,” enabling real time adaptability to the precision medicine market.

For those not in the know, quantum computing is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behavior of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level.

Keinan co-founded the company with Bill Shipman, a former research scientist with The Scripps Research Institute, while both were working at Cloud Pharmaceuticals. When Cloud Pharmaceuticals became a holding company, they licensed part of their technology for development.

Keinan has said the funds would be used towards developing a full platform prototype from two proof-of-concept studies, including its collaboration with Fujitsu.

Durham quantum-computing startup launches drug discovery platform it says is much faster