Press Release
Apr 12, 2022
Design Pharmaceuticals Closes $5 Million Pre-series A Round to Accelerate Commercialization of Ultrahigh Throughput Drug Discovery Platform

Virtus Inspire Venture Partners Provides $3 million Investment

Cambridge, MA  - April 12, 2022: Design Pharmaceuticals, a company redesigning small molecule drug discovery, today announced the closing of a pre-series A round of $5 million, including an investment of $3 million from Virtus Inspire Venture Partners.  The proceeds will be used to further build the company’s discovery platform and operations. Design Pharmaceuticals’ platform is based on ultrahigh-throughput technologies that biomine drug-like molecules from natural sources, such as microbiota. These molecules are then evaluated at unprecedented speed and scale on hundreds of GPCR targets simultaneously.

This funding will continue to support the progress being made to build and commercialize our novel and proprietary platform, which is able to access and screen structurally diverse bioactive molecules for novel therapeutics,” noted Dirk Loeffert, CEO of Design Pharmaceuticals. “We also recently signed two collaborations with pharma, which further validates our novel approach and why we believe provides an attractive opportunity for investors.

Forrest Xu, a partner at Virtus Inspire Ventures commented: “We recognize the great potential of Design Pharmaceuticals’ platform to accelerate small molecule discovery. By combining their unique cell-free biosynthesis platform with microfluidic technologies, we believe the team at Design Pharma will be able to optimize and condense the drug discovery process and increase the rate of finding novel drug candidates for difficult to treat diseases with unmet needs.” 

About Design Pharmaceuticals

Design Pharmaceuticals harnesses nature’s chemistry of drug-like molecules to develop breakthrough therapeutics. The company’s approach aims to redesign the process of small molecule-based drug discovery and development by using engineering-inspired biotechnologies to access these undiscovered molecules and accelerate the drug discovery process saving time and costs.  The platform is based on ultrahigh-throughput technologies that biomine and test drug-like molecules from nature at unprecedented speed and scale on hundreds of GPCR targets simultaneously. Design Pharmaceuticals’ cell-free biosynthesis eliminates the inherent limitations of traditional chemistry or using platforms based on live production strains further accelerating lead compound optimization. The company’s business model aims to build a continuously growing portfolio of joint development and license agreements with pharma partners. For more information, visit 

For more information, contact:

Dirk Loeffert, CEO 
Design Pharmaceuticals