Enveda Biosciences has made a major impact on the medical field since its launch in 2019, raising an impressive $124 million to develop small molecules from nature to tackle some of the toughest therapeutic issues. Even in the midst of a challenging funding landscape, the company recently closed a successful Series B round.
In an interview with BioSpace, Viswa Colluru, Ph.D., CEO, attributed the success of the natural chemistry and plant-based medicine space to a revitalization of the industry. He believes this success is due to the renewed interest in these types of treatments, which have been proven to have many positive effects on health and well-being.
The field of natural-product drug discovery has seen a resurgence in recent years, with new players such as Flagship Pioneering-backed Montai Health and London-based Pangea Botanica joining the fray. At the forefront of this trend is Enveda, a company dedicated to leveraging advanced ML models to uncover novel drug leads from the untapped depths of natural chemistry.
Before founding Enveda, Colluru was at the helm of multiple drug development and platform projects at Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a Salt Lake City-based biotech engineering drug discovery through digital biology. His pioneering work has contributed to making drug discovery more efficient and cost-effective for the industry.
The recent investment in our platform further demonstrates our commitment to delivering assets and quickly advancing them into preclinical validation. It is a testament to the potential of our platform and the exciting progress we are making in our research and development.
Earth’s Most Powerful Library
Enveda, a Colorado-based company, is on an ambitious mission to unlock the nature’s secrets, tapping into its vast library of powerful compounds for the development of groundbreaking small molecule therapeutics that can overcome a range of challenges.
The power of diversity has enabled rapid and exciting discoveries, making it an invaluable asset to the scientific community. With different perspectives and backgrounds, scientists have been able to uncover new insights and create innovative solutions to some of the most complex problems. Thanks to this diversity, new frontiers are constantly being explored and knowledge is continually expanding.
Over the years, the potential for natural remedies has been widely acknowledged, but it has remained difficult to pinpoint the exact natural product families or product scaffolds that can be put through the drug discovery process. However, with more research and exploration, the possibilities are becoming more clear.
Molecules have the potential to become the building blocks of new and effective medicines with the help of medicinal chemistry optimization. By utilizing this powerful process, we can unlock the potential of molecules and develop treatments that can make a real difference in people’s lives.
Enveda has uncovered a revolutionary platform that combines metabolomics and machine learning to precisely predict unknown chemistry. This sophisticated platform is complemented with a unique knowledge graph which categorizes human medicinal plant usage data, from ancient to modern times, to further refine the search. By leveraging this powerful combination, Enveda is providing a groundbreaking solution to an age-old problem.
The company has set itself up for success by employing a high throughput screen of its vast metabolite library, meticulously deconvoluting active compounds from their sources, and then harnessing the power of machine learning to read and translate nature’s chemistry in order to prioritize the most promising compound families. By taking this comprehensive approach, the company is better poised to uncover novel lead-like compounds that could revolutionize the industry.
At Enveda, we’re on a mission to discover new drugs that can modulate complex phenotypes or disease manifestations, as well as target areas with limited or no chemical substrates. Our drug discovery efforts are driven by an ambition to unlock the secrets of the unknown and open up new possibilities for better treatments.
Many of the therapeutic targets that drug discovery companies are pursuing are either undruggable, labeled undruggable, or nearly undruggable due to the fact that most drug libraries have a similar composition. This presents a unique challenge for drug discovery teams to find novel treatments for these targets.
Three Candidates to IND in 2023
Enveda is tapping into the exciting world of medical research, focusing on inflammation, fibrosis and neurosensory biology in the areas of gastrointestinal, dermatological, and pulmonary treatments. All of this research has the potential to lead to breakthroughs in understanding and treating illnesses in these areas.
In response to the current market, Enveda, who originally pursued complex biology wherever it may be found, has shifted its strategy to focus on three areas that are well-suited to the company’s platform. According to CEO Srinivas Colluru, these areas present a great opportunity for the company to expand its offerings.
As venture capital gets harder to come by, it’s increasingly important for us to become a truly serious pharmaceutical company sooner rather than later. With fewer and fewer early-stage deals available, the pressure is on to grow and develop our business quickly.
Colluru noted that the platform is an ideal fit for three areas: the historical use of plants to manage chronic diseases and symptoms, modern plant-based medicine, and the use of plants to increase wellness and prevent diseases. This is because these areas all have a strong connection to managing chronic illnesses.
In just four months, Enveda made a major breakthrough by predicting and experimentally validating 100 new active molecules from its metabolite library. Out of these groundbreaking discoveries, several molecules were chosen to be added to the company’s initial pipeline. This demonstrates the power of Enveda’s platform and its ability to quickly scale and identify new potential treatments.
Enveda’s cutting-edge pipeline is comprised of three of the most advanced programs, the first of which is a modulator of neutrophil biology – a development that could revolutionize our understanding of the human body.
Neutrophils have long been appreciated as essential players in the body’s immune system, but they have remained largely untapped as a promising avenue for mitigating chronic inflammation and its associated consequences such as fibrosis. Fortunately, with more research, we may unlock their potential to bring about meaningful change.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the primary target for this innovative molecule, with the potential to activate a whole range of neutrophilia. Developed by Colluru, this cutting-edge therapeutic could revolutionize the treatment and management of IPF, offering a much-needed ray of hope to those affected by this debilitating condition.
Dr. Joe Smith is thrilled to report that the new inhibitor for IPF has passed all of the rigorous preclinical tests with flying colors. He is confident that this innovative treatment will be a major breakthrough in the management of this devastating disease.
Introducing an exciting new ion-channel inhibitor – the perfect solution to relieving itch and pain! This incredible breakthrough can be administered both orally and topically, offering fast, effective relief. Get ready to bid goodbye to your discomforts, and say hello to a new era of comfort and ease!
Enveda is keen to address an area of unmet need that has been largely overlooked: the search for non-opioid, nonaddictive treatments for chronic and acute pain. According to CEO Narsimha Colluru, there is a great opportunity to quickly demonstrate the effects of potential treatments in this field. As such, Enveda is actively exploring multiple clinical and commercial pathways to unlock new pain relief solutions.
Last but not least, Enveda uncovered an exciting new chemotype that works to inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway with a unique mechanism – a major breakthrough in the fight against inflammation.
By targeting a protein that regulates the stability of the inflammasome, rather than directly binding the inflammasome itself, we can take advantage of an innovative approach to helping reduce inflammation. This cutting-edge strategy, developed by Dr. Colluru, could provide a promising solution to the growing issue of inflammation/
Dr. Henderson believes that this chemotype has the potential to introduce two, or even three, promising candidates into the drug development pipeline. The most advanced of these is a gut-restricted molecule with therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer or fibrosis caused by IBD.
Enveda is on track to submit an Investigational New Drug application for its first of three assets by the end of 2023, with additional filings coming shortly thereafter. This groundbreaking initiative is set to revolutionize the way we approach treatments and therapies, pushing the boundaries of the medical industry.