EQRx, a startup that made waves last year when it announced a plan to develop new medicines that would sell at cheaper prices than existing high-priced drugs, said Monday it had raised $500 million more in investment, bringing the total amount it has raised to $750 million.
Alexis Borisy, EQRx’s CEO and founder, reiterated that he plans to take advantage of the “yawning gap” between what a cancer drug would have cost two decades ago and what it would cost now, even as it benefits the same number of people.
“This is all in inflation-adjusted numbers, all in current dollars,” Borisy said. “Drugs that 25 years ago, we as an industry would charge $20,000 for, today we charge $200,000 for when the technology is enabling it to be done radically differently. That creates an enormous business opportunity. That’s what EQRx is going after at massive scale.”
The company currently employs more than 100 people, Borisy said, and expects to double that this year.
However, EQRx did not disclose who the new investors contributing to the investment round were, saying only that the money came from all the investors who participated in $200 million fundraising last year as well as “life science specialists, world class mutual funds and private equity funds, sovereign wealth and family offices, and market-leading payers and health systems that cover more than 20% of insured lives in the United States.”
That last category is particularly tantalizing because Borisy’s plan for EQRx involves partnering with insurers and health systems, who would help the firm run clinical trials of its drugs and also help get doctors to adopt the new, lower-priced medicines. EQRx’s press release states that it has entered strategic collaborations with “national and regional health plans and integrated delivery networks and health systems.”