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Cold Spring Lab spinoff wins $2.4 million in venture capital

Manhattan-based Envisagenics “is disrupting traditional drug discovery” using artificial intelligence, one investor says.

Maria Luisa Pineda, right, CEO of Envisagenics, and

Maria Luisa Pineda, right, CEO of Envisagenics, and Martin Akerman, CTO. July 27, 2015 Photo Credit: Chuck Fadely

Envisagenics Inc., a startup using technology invented at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has raised nearly $2.4 million from investors, including a venture capital fund run by New York State, officials said.

The company, started in Huntington village and now based in Manhattan, is developing computer software to help drugmakers better analyze genetic information to treat genetic diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy, which is fatal to children.

The software, called SpliceCore, debuted in October.

The recent investment includes $500,000 from New York Ventures, a fund run by Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, an agency spokeswoman said.

The other investors are Cosine LLC, Dolby Family Ventures, Dynamk Capital, SV Angel and Third Kind Venture Capital.

Envisagenics co-founder and CEO Maria Luisa Pineda noted that some of the investment funds are led by women. “It is great to have the support of established female investors with the experience to scale companies and accelerate drug discovery,” she said.

Pineda started Envisagenics with Martin Akerman, chief technology officer, in 2014. Both were researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Lab.

The company’s first support, a total of $100,000, came from two local funds: Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund. The latter consists of Jove Equity Partners in Setauket and Topspin Ventures in Roslyn.

Daniella Kranjac of Dynamk, who helped Envisagenics in its recent fundraising, said the company “is disrupting traditional drug discovery through applied machine learning and artificial intelligence.” New Jersey-based Dynamk invested $500,000.

In April, Envisagenics received an investment from Breakout Labs, which was founded by billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel. The amount was not disclosed.

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