Accelerate Fund II invests in DrugBank the world’s largest pharmaceutical knowledge base

Posted by Accelerate Fund | May 19, 2020

EDMONTON, AB, May 19, 2020 – Accelerate Fund II is excited to announce its investment in DrugBank, an Edmonton company that has developed a comprehensive, online knowledge base of essential information on drugs and drug targets to help drug researchers develop drugs including COVID-19 treatments.

Modern drug research relies on a data-driven approach to analyze information from diverse sources including books, journals, and papers which may document drug development that didn’t prove effective for one purpose but can be developed for another use. If drug researchers can take advantage of efficient access to comprehensive data, they can reduce the costs of drug development and the time to develop a treatment or vaccine.

“In the multi-billion-dollar drug research industry, the percentage of successful drugs being approved has gone down, as costs for development have gone up,” said Arden Tse, Investment Manager for Accelerate Fund II. “One of the levers that can speed up drug research is more effective access to data. DrugBank has built a scalable knowledge base that not only makes research faster and more economical today, but provides a smart data structure that can be fed into machine learning programs.”

DrugBank’s product suite includes clinical software used by genetic testing and precision medicine companies, scientific software used by pharmaceutical companies, and the online knowledge base used by millions of health professionals and drug development teams each year. is currently being used by scientists pursuing a COVID-19 treatment.

“The DrugBank platform conveys everything drug researchers need to know about how drugs work in the body, and it is populated with proprietary content linked and referenced to scientific evidence by the DrugBank expert team of pharmacists and pharmacologists,” explains Michael Wilson, DrugBank CEO. “Because DrugBank covers a vast scope of data we are enabling major advances across the data-driven medicine industry. We connect the dots between many types of information and provide the context that lets our customers turn their data into real insights that are improving treatment outcomes and saving lives.”

Leading health organization rely on DrugBank knowledge base. Healx an AI-powered and patient-inspired technology company, is using DrugBank knowledge to accelerate the discovery and development of rare disease treatments. Syapse, a firm dedicated to precision medicine for cancer patients is drawing DrugBank knowledge into its insights platform, to share among its health network, and with industry partnerships that serve healthcare providers.

The concept for DrugBank originated out of Dr. David Wishart’s University of Alberta research lab. Co-founders, Michael Wilson and Craig Knox first worked on the knowledge base prototype inside the lab, then decided to combine their skills and establish DrugBank as a commercial business in 2015.

Investment from Accelerate Fund II will enable DrugBank to increase their rate of growth by expanding the sales and marketing team, and enhancing business development efforts and geographic market reach with the aim to quadruple the company’s growth rate.

About DrugBank
DrugBank is a curated pharmaceutical knowledge base that is enabling major advances across the data-driven medicine industry. It consists of proprietary authored content describing the clinical level information about drugs such as side effects and drug interactions, as well as molecular level data such as chemical structures and what proteins a drug interacts with.

DrugBank offers a suite of products powered by the DrugBank Platform and has customers located around the world crossing multiple industries including precision medicine, electronic health records, drug development and regulatory agencies. DrugBank also provides free resources for academic research and is used by millions of pharmacists, pharmacologists, health professionals and pharmaceutical researchers every year.

About Accelerate Fund II
Accelerate Fund II is an early-stage angel co-investment fund in Alberta. We co-invest alongside angel investors in financing rounds and will typically invest up to $500,000 on the same terms and conditions as private investors. We work with formal angel groups, super-angels, family funds, and individual angel investors. Accelerate Fund II invests in private, early-stage Alberta companies in knowledge-based industries including: information and communications technology, clean and energy technology, as well as life sciences, including agriculture and biotech. Accelerate Fund II is managed by Yaletown Partners with the support of The A100. Alberta Enterprise Corporation is Accelerate Fund II’s Limited Partner.

Media Inquiries:
Accelerate Fund II
Claudia Moore
Material Insight
Claudia @

Shay Barker
Shay @

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