Khosla Backs AI Startup Creating New Class of Genetic Drugs


Featured in The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2017

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It was the mid-1990s when Brendan Frey first started publishing some of the earliest research on deep learning, a type of artificial intelligence meant to mimic the brain’s network of information.

But it wasn’t until recently that Mr. Frey could finally put some of those decades-old algorithms to use beyond academic research.

With the advent of faster, more powerful computers alongside the ability to map the
human genome, Mr. Frey’s work as a professor at the University of Toronto evolved into a startup called Deep Genomics Inc., which just landed a $13 million Series A led by Khosla Ventures.

Deep Genomics, which Mr. Frey founded in 2015, is building a machine learning platform that maps genetic pathways of disease to inform drug development. The Toronto-based startup’s technology pulls from sources including public biological data repositories and patient genetic data to identify variants of disease that could be manipulated through medicine.