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Somite Raises $5.3M As Five Leading Scientists Join Forces To Incorporate AI In Stem Cell Therapy

[[To comply with academic institution guidelines, the founders' academic affiliations and roles are listed only at the end of the statement.]]

BOSTON and AUSTIN, Texas, April 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Somite, a venture-backed company aiming to become the OpenAI of stem cell biology, announces that it has raised $5.3M in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Israel's preeminent Venture fund TechAviv, and joined by renowned Austin-based VCs Next Coast Ventures, Trust Ventures and Texas Venture Partners as well as NY-based Lerer Hippeau and others. The funds will be used to continue development of Somite's proprietary AlphaStem AI platform, building Somite labs and bringing the first therapeutic asset to phase 1 clinical trials. 

Somite Raises $5.3M in Pre-seed Round to Transform Cell Therapy with Al

Founded in October 2023, Somite is building AI foundation models to produce human tissue at scale for cell therapies. These therapies have the potential to cure a wide range of diseases that involve the loss or deficiency of cell populations, such as Diabetes, Obesity, and Muscular Dystrophies. 

The founding team comprises five distinguished experts in their respective fields: Dr. Micha Breakstone, a seasoned AI entrepreneur who successfully sold Chorus.ai for $575 million, serves as the CEO. Joining him are the CTO, Dr. Jonathan Rosenfeld, who pioneered AI scaling laws at MIT, along with Boston-based scientists Dr. Olivier Pourquie, Dr. Allon Klein, and Dr. Cliff Tabin, who bring expertise in developmental biology, stem cells and computational biology.

Cell therapy, a revolutionary approach to treating medical conditions, involves replacing missing, damaged, or diseased cells. While recent strides in stem cell research have opened new avenues for producing various human cell types, challenges persist in terms of efficiency, scalability, and robustness across existing protocols. Somite.ai stands out as the premier company excelling in the efficient production of cells derived from somites, crucial embryonic structures giving rise to musculoskeletal cells. These include muscle, brown adipose, cartilage, bone, tendon, and dermis. Leveraging its expertise, Somite is pioneering the development of a digital twin of the embryo?a computational model mirroring real embryo development and behavior. Drawing from data-rich sources such as scRNA-Seq, scATAC-seq, and gene expression databases, the digital twin empowers Artificial Intelligence to swiftly uncover innovative protocols, identify regulators of cell differentiation, and conduct rapid optimization cycles. 

Somite's proprietary digital twin not only surfaces actionable insights but also expedites protocol iterations. Somite also builds on work performed in the Pourquie laboratory where production of somite-derived lineages such as human satellite and brown adipose cells in vitro was optimized using computational analysis and AI, allowing a critical increase in purity without the need for sorting procedures.

Since its inception, Somite has rapidly achieved noteworthy milestones, including gaining acceptance to the esteemed Blavatnik Harvard Life Labs and securing intellectual property for groundbreaking patents. 

"The future of medicine lies at the intersection of AI and biology," says Micha Breakstone, CEO and Co-Founder of Somite. "With Somite's AlphaStem platform we have the unique opportunity to both unlock the governing principles of cell differentiation and introduce therapies to cure tens of millions of people. This funding round is only one of many first steps in our exciting journey."

"We are proud to partner with Somite and have high conviction in the exceptional team and transformative solution for stem cell therapy," says Yaron Samid, Founder and Managing Partner at TechAviv. "I am captivated by Somite's potential to redefine the boundaries of medical innovation. They are committed to advancing their groundbreaking stem cell therapy technology and have the power to transform the lives of millions of people by leveraging AI to produce human tissue for cell therapies."

About Somite
Somite.ai is a venture-backed company aiming to become the OpenAI of stem cell biology, developing AI foundation models to produce human tissue for cell therapies at scale for diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and muscular dystrophies. Somite's AI platform, AlphaStem, fuels a virtuous cycle: It enables new cell therapies, generating massive data that further improve the platform, empowering even faster therapy creation with broader applications.

Incorporated in Oct. 2023, Somite.ai has raised $5.3m to date.

Somite Management Team:

Scientific Co-founders:

Media Contact:  [email protected]

SOURCE Somite Therapeutics

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