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Glyphic Biotechnologies raises $6M to accelerate protein sequencing by orders of magnitude

The whole human proteome may be free to browse thanks to DeepMind, but at the bleeding edge of biotech new proteins are made and tested every day, a complex and time-consuming process. Glyphic Biotechnologies accelerates the critical but slow sequencing step, potentially cutting drug development times down by a huge amount, and the startup just raised a $6 million seed to bring its clever solution to market.
Proteins are at the heart of many new treatments and products; the ubiquitous and infinitely varied chains of amino acids twist into shapes that interact with cells, substances in the body, and other proteins, doing everything from interpreting DNA to controlling access to secure areas (“sorry, no potassium allowed”).
In the drug discovery and biotech world, proteins represent unlimited possibility — the right one could clamp onto cancer cells, facilitate natural healing processes, or prompt the creation of helpful substances. But finding and testing novel molecules is not easy — and a big part of that is sequencing, which confirms the exact makeup of the protein you’re trying to test.
Right now there are several large companies doing good business in the protein discovery world, and generally the process involves identifying the amino acid at the end of the protein chain, then snipping it off, identifying the next one, and so on until you’ve done the whole thing.
The trouble with this approach is that the protein’s shape or the molecular properties of the next amino acid in line can interfere with the process of binding to and identifying the one on the very end. As a result there’s a certain amount of uncertainty and a lack of unreliability inherent to the process.

AI is ready to take on a massive healthcare challenge
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