Odyssey Therapeutics Acquires Quantum Drug Discovery Startup Rahko

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Odyssey Therapeutics acquired quantum startup Rahko.

In another cross-the-pond deal, US-based Odyssey Therapeutics acquired London-based Rahko, according to reports from The Telegraph.

Rahko is developing quantum computer software designed for drug discovery.
Odyssey is based in Boston. The amount of the acquisition was not made.

According to the reports, Odyssey acquired a majority stake in the startup that is using quantum machine learning algorithms and techniques to solve drug discovery problems. One of the oft-mentioned use cases for quantum computers is the pharmaceutical industry, which is often plagued with slow and risky scientific investigations into finding drug treatments. Quantum’s considerable computational power and its ability to simulate molecules and molecular interaction make it theoretically a good fit for that industry.

Recently, Odyssey announced that it raised $218m in venture capital funding to back new drugs and drug discovery technologies.

“A renaissance in medicinal chemistry, coupled with new drug discovery technologies and an expanded understanding of the drivers of immune dysfunction and cancer, has created an unprecedented opportunity to discover new drugs with much greater potential for patients,” Gary D. Glick, Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Therapeutics said about that fund raise. “Odyssey has brought together the financing, technology, and a team with decades of success in drug discovery and development and is poised to capitalize on this opportunity and take precision therapies to the next level: providing patients with better medicines to improve their lives.”

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Rahko was founded in 2018 by computer science graduates at UCL. It is currently developing a drug discovery service called Hyrax that applies drug discovery algorithms to quantum computers.

The company’s website states: “Hyrax enables faster and cheaper drug discovery with AI today, and discovery with significantly higher prediction accuracy using quantum computing tomorrow.”

According to TQI, Rahko (TQI: Rahko) acquired seed funding of about $1.6 million (US) in 2019 from investors including Balderton Capital, Charlie Songhurst, James Field, John Spindler and Tom McInerney.

Rahko was named one of the hottest new startups in Europe. In spring of 2021, it also announced a collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Merck.

The move represents a lot of mobility between US and UK quantum companies, the Telegraph points out. UK-based Cambridge Quantum recently merged with US-based Honeywell. PsiQuantum, originally a UK-based concerned, has relocated to Silicon Valley.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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