Relay Therapeutics acquires ZebiAI for $85M

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

April 16, 2021 -- Relay Therapeutics has acquired ZebiAI, a developer of experimental DNA-encoded library datasets using machine learning for drug discovery. Relay hopes the acquisition will accelerate the advancement of its Dynamo platform.

Relay's Dynamo platform integrates an array of computational and experimental approaches to effectively drug previously intractable protein targets. With the integration of ZebiAI's technology, Dynamo will have the potential to predict more drug-like chemical starting points, reduce cycle time to compound optimization, and increase the number and range of programs that can be developed.

ZebiAI builds on Relay's approach by bringing a massive library of curated experimental data, validated machine-learning models, and a collaboration with Google's Accelerated Science Group to continue to build this computational capability, as well as a team with deep expertise in machine learning for drug discovery, the firm said.

Under the merger agreement, Relay will pay $85 million upfront, comprised of $20 million in cash and $65 million in Relay stock. ZebiAI stockholders are also eligible to receive up to an additional $85 million in platform- and program-related milestone payments. Additionally, if Relay enters partnering or collaboration agreements related to ZebiAI's platform, ZebiAI stockholders are eligible to receive 10% of the payments, up to $100 million.

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