AI-Based BlackThorn Therapeutics Raises Additional $75 Million

Blackthorn will use the funds to further develop its personalized medicines for the treatment of mental health disorders.


California-based BlackThorn Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage neurobehavioral health company pioneering the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to advance its pipeline of targeted therapeutics for treating brain disorders. Its PathFinder™ cloud-based computational psychiatry and data platform enables the firm to collect, integrate and analyze multimodal data at great speed and scale in order to expand the understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of neurobehavioral disorders. This information is used to generate objective neuromarkers, identify novel drug targets, appropriately stratify patients and establish objective clinical trial endpoints.


The company recently announced the successful completion of its $76 million Series B funding round. Investors included both existing (Alexandria Venture Investments, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Biomatics Capital, GV [formerly Google Ventures], Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. [JJDC], and Mercury Fund) and new (Polaris Partners, Premier Partners, Scripps Research, and Vertex Ventures HC) participants.


The company also announced the appointment of Brian Chee, a managing partner at Polaris Partners, Lori Hu, a managing director at Vertex Ventures HC, and Julie Sunderland, a managing director at Biomatics Capital, to the board of directors.

According to BlackThorn Executive Chair Paul Berns, the company has built “the largest library of deeply phenotyped clinical neurobiological data” and combined this information with a cloud-based platform utilizing AI and machine learning “to inform rational, targeted drug discovery and development.” BlackThorn’s president and chief operating officer Bill Martin, Ph.D. notes that the company was founded “to bring new therapies to patients by applying advances in computational sciences to address patient heterogeneity, one of the biggest historical challenges in the field of neuropsychiatric drug development.”


To date, the company has developed patient-enrichment strategies that could increase the probability of clinical trial success and improve patient outcomes, according to Martin.

David Alvaro, Ph.D.

David is Scientific Editorial Director for That’s Nice and the Pharma’s Almanac content enterprise, responsible for directing and generating industry, scientific and research-based content, including client-owned strategic content. Before joining That’s Nice, David served as a scientific editor for the multidisciplinary scientific journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. He received a B.A. in Biology from New York University and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from Columbia University.