Synfini, Inc. Spins Out of SRI International to Bring Novel Molecular Discovery Platform to Market

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Synfini Unites Neuro-Symbolic AI, Robotic Automation, and World-class Chemistry Data to Dramatically Accelerate Drug Discovery; Company Leverages more than $40 million in non-dilutive SRI development and $1M in private investment, Including WERU Investment to Jumpstart Seed funding efforts.

MENLO PARK, Calif., September 26, 2023 – Synfini, Inc., a pioneer in agile chemistry whose advanced, automated molecular discovery platform is transforming drug discovery, today announced that it has acquired rights to the patented Synfini® platform from SRI International®, and that it will operate as an independent firm.

The Synfini platform unites physical and virtual chemistry, neuro-symbolic AI, a vast proprietary chemistry dataset, and robotic automation to develop novel molecular compounds that accelerate the translation of drug concepts into drug candidates.

“Synfini has the ability to immediately transform the $21BN drug discovery industry with a completely new approach, unparalleled chemistry data, and a unique platform that dramatically reduces the time-to-discovery of novel therapeutics,” said Doug Donzelli, CEO of Synfini. “SRI’s investment of time and resources, combined with the unique expertise of our founding team gives us a running start at addressing some of humanity’s largest health challenges, helping people live longer, healthier lives. The SRI-developed IP, along with additional seed funding, positions us for success as we enter the commercial market.”

“At SRI our mission is to create groundbreaking technologies and bring them to market, so I’m delighted that after seven years of development, Synfini is coming out of the lab to become its own freestanding company where it can have the kind of impact for which it was intended,” said David Parekh, Chief Executive Officer at SRI. “I am eager to see the team at Synfini take this to new heights and fulfill the technology’s extraordinary promise.”

SRI is an independent nonprofit research institute headquartered in Menlo Park, CA., that creates and delivers world-changing solutions for a safer, healthier, and more sustainable future. Synfini’s novel automation, data and application of AI is the result of a more than $40 million development effort at SRI over a multi-year period, partially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

With its novel technology set, Synfini will continue to create a high-value portfolio of molecular assets that’s intended to reduce the time and cost of drug discovery. The platform can accelerate molecular lead identification and optimization, thereby reducing the time required to discover pre-clinical drug candidates. The firm begins commercial operations with a significant pipeline of health and longevity assets, which are highly valuable to drug hunters and the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are incredibly proud of launching Synfini and seeing our AI-powered molecular design produce instant digital experiments that drive automation.” said Todd Stavish, managing director of SRI’s ventures group, which specializes in transferring deep technology to startups. “We know that Synfini will have an extraordinary impact on the world of pharmaceutical development, and we are excited to see a platform built at SRI thrive as an independent company.”

“AI holds the promise to fundamentally change drug discovery and accelerate the development of critical new medicines, but first the challenges of limited chemistry data and reproducible digital procedures must be resolved. We are excited about Synfini’s unique approach to these fundamental issues – the application of neuro-symbolic AI combined with robotic automation – together with the expertise of the team. We look forward to working together with the Synfini team to support the company’s growth in this opportunity,” said Tadashi Takiguchi, Ph.D., President & CEO of WERU Investment.

Synfini’s founding team comprises scientists and inventors of the platform that bring 150+ person-years of synthetic and medicinal chemistry, engineering and startup expertise. In addition to their work at SRI, the team comes from organizations that have been at the forefront of AI, technology, biology, chemistry, and drug discovery.

About SRI
SRI International is an independent nonprofit research institute headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., with a rich history of supporting government and industry. We create and deliver world-changing solutions for a safer, healthier, and more sustainable future. For more than 75 years, we have collaborated across technical and scientific disciplines to discover and develop groundbreaking products and technologies and bring innovations and ideas to the marketplace. Learn more at