Top 5 Deep Learning Companies Exploring AI in Drug Discovery

Published: December 2023

These start-ups are expected to lead the deep learning industry in terms of exploring the potential of Artificial Intelligence in the drug discovery domain. We analyzed more than 200 companies that are focused on providing deep learning services and technologies for drug discovery and diagnostic purposes, with their primary focus on big data analysis, medical imaging, medical diagnosis and molecular data analysis. Of these, discover the 5 deep learning companies and their capabilities in this industry.

Over the years, technological advancements in the healthcare industry have paved the way for the development of novel machines possessing intelligence of their own. The revolution in the history of computational advancement began with the emergence of artificial intelligence, the next-generation simulator that employs programmed machines having the ability to comprehend data and execute the instructed tasks. One major application / subset of Artificial Intelligence technology corresponds to Machine Learning, which allows machines to gain the ability learn from data, without being explicitly programmed to do so. Further, the evolution of machine learning technology led to the introduction of deep learning, a complex interconnection of neural networks, capable of processing large, unstructured datasets without the requirement of human intervention. Since its conception, deep learning has inspired its application across multiple industry verticals, owing to its innate human brain mimicking characteristics.

The two major areas that are being highlighted for the application of deep learning in life sciences industry include drug discovery and diagnostics. Deep learning algorithms have demonstrated instrumental potential in circumventing the challenges associated with drug discovery and drug development, further aiding in the overall improvement of drug discovery productivity. Considering the ongoing innovation and advancement of this field, several well-established players have begun exploring its potential in drug discovery. It is worth highlighting that in recent years, the market has witnessed a significant start-up activity, featuring the emergence of 47% deep learning companies established post-2015. 

Roots Analysis has conducted an exhaustive study on Deep Learning in Drug Discovery Market and Deep Learning in Diagnostics Market featuring the current market landscape and future opportunity for the service providers involved in deep learning industry, over a span of 10 years.

Pharmaceutical companies are evaluating several approach to improve the cost intensive drug discovery process. In addition to the use of AI in drug discovery, some of the other recent approaches include fragment based drug discovery and quantum computing in drug discovery, Owing to the profound impact of this field of computational medicine, coupled with the ongoing pace of innovation in this domain, the deep learning in drug discovery market and deep learning in diagnostics market is anticipated to demonstrate substantial growth in the coming decade.

Table of Contents

The top five emerging deep learning companies (start-ups) offering deep learning solutions for drug discovery are listed below (in alphabetical order):

Table 1: List of Top 5 Deep Learning Companies in Drug Discovery

S.No. Deep Learning Companies    Year of Establishment                    Number of Employees    Location of Headquarter   
1 Cortex Discovery 2021 2-10 Germany
2 Ensem Therapeutics 2021 11-50 US
3 Isomorphic Labs (Subsidiary of Alphabet) 2021 11-50 UK
4 Merative (previously known as IBM Watson Health) 2021 1,001-5,000 US
5 Sravathi AI 2021 11-50 India

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Discover the Details on 5 Deep Learning Companies in Drug Discovery

This article highlights the 5 start-ups to watch out for in this industry. These deep learning companies were chosen based on their year of establishment (established post-2019). It is essential to note that the selection of top players can differ substantially according to the defined criteria.

1. Cortex Discovery, a Deep Learning Powered Service Provider Aimed at Transforming Drug Discovery

Cortex Discovery - Deep Learning

Cortex Discovery is a Germany-based company engaged in AI-based drug discovery. The company has a proprietary in-silico drug discovery platform and claims to offer a comprehensive suite of drug discovery services ranging from preclinical drug development, hit discovery to lead optimization and throughput screening. The company is also developing a next-generation molecular docking technology, presenting a combination of quantum simulations and deep learning, in order to explore novel longevity therapeutic targets. Further, the company is currently collaborating with laboratories for in-silico prediction of the potential of anti-SARS-Cov-2 repurposed drugs and novel inhibitors of HIV1. Moreover, considering the wide applicability of their system across multiple therapeutic areas, the company welcomes partnership opportunities with private and academic partners.

Cortex Discovery currently offers drug discovery across the following therapeutic areas:

  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncological Disorders

Deep Learning-based Tool / Technology / Platform: Cortex Discovery's AI Technology
Deep Learning Derived Service Portfolio: Big Data Analysis

2. Ensem Therapeutics, a Pioneer in the Drug Discovery Domain, Developing Innovative Small Molecule Precision Medicines for Oncological Applications

Ensem Therapeutics - Deep Learning

Ensem Therapeutics, a CBC Group-Incubated Biopharma Company, is a US-based deep-learning based drug discovery service provider. The company is aimed at accelerating drug designing by identifying cryptic binding pockets of previously deemed undruggable / difficult-to-drug targets using computational and AI deep learning methodologies. Ensem Therapeutics has an in-house pipeline of three early-stage programs along with multiple discovery stage programs, primarily targeting oncological disorders.1 Further, the company aims to expand across multiple novel targets.

Ensem Therapeutics currently offers drug discovery across the following therapeutic areas:

  • Oncological Disorders
  • Genetic Disorders

Deep Learning-based Tool / Technology / Platform: Kinetic Ensemble™ Platform.
Deep Learning Derived Service Portfolio: Big Data Analysis

Recent Developments:

In June 2023, Ensem Therapeutics announced the appointment of Shengfang Jin as the President and Chief Executive Officer, having an experience of over 25 years in the biotech and pharma industries. He previously served as the President and Chief Scientific Officer at Ensem therapeutics.2

In April 2022, Ensem Therapeutics raised a sum of USD 67 million in a series A financing in order to support the development of small molecule drugs for difficult-to-treat therapeutic targets using its novel multi-tiered Kinetic Ensemble platform integrating molecular simulation, deep learning and advanced experimental validation.

3. Isomorphic Labs, Revolutionizing Digital Biology with its Advanced Computational Biology Drug Discovery Platform

Isomorphic Labs - Deep Learning

Isomorphic Labs is a UK-based company offering deep learning-powered drug discovery services. In November 2021, Alphabet launched Isomorphic labs as an AI drug discovery venture built on the protein-folding experience and expertise (AlphaFold) achieved by researchers at DeepMind. The company currently works in active collaboration with Google DeepMind, another member of the Alphabet group of companies. Utilizing computational advancements and scientific research expertise, the company is offering a cutting edge in the period of digital biology, aiding in the discovery of novel therapeutic agents and medicines.

Isomorphic Labs currently offers drug discovery across the following therapeutic areas:

  • Oncological Disorders
  • Immunological Disorders

Deep Learning-based Tool / Technology / Platform: AlphaFold (in partnership with DeepMind)
Deep Learning Derived Service Portfolio: Big Data Analysis

Recent Developments:

In October 2023, the company shared updates on the progress of its AlphaFold model. The company’s AI model has been advanced to generate predictions for an entire range of biologically relevant molecules beyond merely proteins.

In May 2023, the company announced the opening of its new offices in Lausanne, Switzerland in order to build on the vibrant scientific and technical community at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EFPL).

4. Merative, an Experienced Technology and Analytics Partner for the Healthcare Industry

Merative - Deep Learning

Merative is a US-based company, launched in July 2022 by the Investment firm Francisco Partners, as a result of acquisition and rebranding of IBM Watson Health. The company is engaged in applying advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to data in order to generate actionable insights used to inform operational, financial and clinical operations. The company offers a wide range of deep learning-based drug discovery and diagnostic services, including medical imaging, clinical decision support and cloud-based solutions, through the IBM Watson Platform (AI for business). It is worth mentioning that the aforementioned platform offers the most open and secure public cloud for business, including cloud services for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). In addition, the IBM Watson platform aids in drug discovery, clinical trial matching and trial management. The firm offers cognitive computing solutions in the field of genomics, oncology, population health management, care management and medical imaging. 

Merative currently offers drug discovery and diagnostics across the following therapeutic areas:

  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Oncological Disorders

Deep Learning-based Tool / Technology / Platform: IBM Watson Studio® and IBM Cloud Pak®
Deep Learning Derived Service Portfolio: Big Data Analysis, Medical Imaging

Recent Developments:

In April 2023, the company diverged its medical imaging solutions portfolio into Merge, an enterprise solution for radiology and cardiology imaging requirements. Further, the company appointed Ashish Sant as the general manager for Merge.4

In February 2019, Merative announced two research partnerships with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), respectively, in order to explore the use of artificial intelligence. Under the terms of the agreement, USD 50 million investment was allocated from the hospitals for the application of AI tools in improving clinical workflows and outcomes.

5. Sravathi AI, One of the APAC Based Deep Learning Companies, is an Emerging Leader in Generative AI, Chemistry AI and Molecular Modelling

Sravathi - Deep Learning

Sravathi AI is an India-based start-up aimed at combining the three verticals: artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The company is aimed at discovering novel pharmaceuticals and chemical modalities using a proprietary AI based solution platform to generate novel compounds, identify and validate targets. Within drug discovery the company offers target identification, new molecule generation, off-target information and property prediction. The AI-based drug design solutions offered by the company help in the reduction of uncertainty associated with drug discovery process, simultaneously aiding in time and cost saving during drug development.

Sravathi AI currently offers drug discovery across the following therapeutic area:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncological Disorders

Deep Learning-based Tool / Technology / Platform: Sravathi's AI Platform

Recent Developments:

In October 2023, the company entered into a partnership with The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and CSIR-CDRI in order to leverage its AI technology for the discovery of chemical compounds with anti-cancer properties.

What About the Other Deep Learning Companies?

The above presentation features five start-up deep learning companies selected from a pool of over 200 deep learning-powered service providers that we have compiled. If you are interested, you can download the Sample Report on “Deep Learning in Drug Discovery Market and Deep Learning in Diagnostics Market” by Roots Analysis. For personalized assistance in identifying the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at

About Author


Dhriti is a Senior Business Analyst, working as an integral part of the Roots Analysis team since 2021. Passionate about the intersection of science and industry, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from a renowned university. Possessing keen interest in the pharma domain, Dhriti initiated her professional journey with a strong academic foundation. Her passion to learn more about the emerging trends and technological advancements has enabled her to provide comprehensive insights through syndicate reports and consulting. The unique blend of scientific knowledge and business acumen has enabled her to provide insightful analysis in the ever-evolving life-sciences domain. Till date, she has earnestly contributed to over 6 in-depth market research reports on trending topics, ranging from non-hormonal therapies for women health, oligonucleotide synthesis, RNAi therapeutics and technologies, cell therapy manufacturing to next deep learning in drug discovery and diagnostics.



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