VeriSIM Life Raises $5.2M Round of Funding: Building Digital Animal and Human Simulations to Avoid Unnecessary Drug Testing in Animals


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dr. Jo Varshney, a multi-disciplinary and celebrated leader in veterinary and human health development, along with a team of world class scientists and engineers in machine learning and in silico simulation bring clarity to drug development through better science. Recently raising a $5.2M USD series seed co-led by OCA Ventures, Serra Ventures and Stage Venture Partners with participation from Susa Ventures, Intel Capital, Village Global, Twin Ventures, and Loup Ventures, the company will now be able to support increasingly larger communities in academia and pharma to computationally model and support better translative research in drug development.

“Prior to VeriSIM Life’s disruption in the pharma space, there was a fundamental disconnect in how medicine gets to treating the patients who need it. At the pre-clinical stage, animal testing is relied upon to understand how the safety and efficacy of a new drug compound will react within the human body before being used in clinical trials.

This is ineffective and unsound for a few reasons:

One, it takes far too long, is expensive and wastes R&D resources.

Two, it relies on trial and error drug testing that abuses animals.

Three, the use of animals as a way of understanding human physiology results in further inefficiency, error (92%), and is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.

We, instead, use world-class expertise in machine learning and engineering to produce models that serve as ‘digital’ animals and — in the future — humans.

With our machine learning driven approach, we are able to pre-flight advancements in medicine without the need for redundant trials, subjecting animals to the cruelty of testing, and with far better outcomes than the 8% success currently seen in medicine making it to market. More people will be able to receive the treatments they need and our partners will see faster and verified results from their research.”

— Dr. Jo Varshney, DVM/PhD, Founder and CEO, VSL

VSL is now looking to source additional opportunities with more partnering companies in the biotech and pharma space, inclusive of medical development impacting both humans and animals. With prior successful launches into partnerships and co-development with big companies, academia and CROs, the company is now positioned to not only continue their proof of concept but fully implement solutions for companies looking to move from bench to bedside.

With this new funding, VSL will be able to optimize its models through expanded academic partnerships, grow a team to include world-class talent in the engineering and operations space, and engage with greater agency when working with larger pharma institutions.

As the team grows, VSL will maintain a cross-collaborative culture reliant upon world-class subject matter expertise and an approach to collaboration that seeks to include as many diverse experiences as possible. With a ‘ground-up’ approach to celebrating inclusion, diverse expert opinions, belonging, and equality, it is possible to gain tremendous insights from a team committed to communicating and engaging from highly unique and specialized points of view and break the silos that currently exist across different disciplines.

“In order to produce medicines for everyone, at a scale that defies the current outmoded practices of the pharma industry, we will need everyone capable of engaging with this work to find the growth we need to upend both the dogma of exclusive corporate practice and the methods and practices of the industry. By striving to do our utmost to include diversity as part of our practice at VSL, we can truly bring our whole selves to this mission. Diversity and inclusion has so many facets, and we work to consider them all, in terms of cultivating diverse opinions, in investigating how we communicate, problem-solve and collaborate, and how we look to bring more people into our mission on an intersectional basis.”

— Dr. Jo Varshney, DVM/PhD

Saving millions of dollars and years of effort, while bringing greater accuracy and efficiency to drug development, leaders such as Eric Stefanich (Director of Preclinical research) has the following to say about VeriSIM’s partnership with Genentech:

“The cost and time of developing new medications have been growing for decades. Modeling and simulation approaches have potential to reduce the time and cost and restore sustainability to drug development. VeriSIM Life ​is on the leading edge of this next phase of drug development using AI and machine learning to more efficiently and effectively predict pharmacology of potential new drug candidates through pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling and simulation. VeriSIM Life has the potential to help design better drugs, predict disease outcome, and select patients who would benefit from therapies; making the dream of personalized medicine a reality.”

About VeriSIM Life

VeriSIM Life is providing pharmaceutical scientists a competitive advantage to accelerate R&D decisions to bring more personalized drugs in the market.

It is VeriSIM Life’s mission to increase human life expectancy through intelligence driven biosystem simulations to truly personalize patient treatment. Fueling the acceleration of research and development in drug discovery, we create the tools needed for unprecedented medical breakthroughs to take place much earlier in the drug discovery and development timeline. It’s our intention to create innovative products in the medical industry that will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare worldwide.


James Stahlman at [email protected]