What Do We Share as Generators?

Generate experienced a year of dramatic growth in 2022, thanks to the enthusiasm and dedicated efforts of everyone on our team. We are prepared for an equally ambitious 2023, when, among other things, we anticipate filing our first INDs. It’s worth reflecting on what accounts for the remarkable progress we’ve made and where we’re headed.

I keep coming back to a set of questions that are central to our success and to our common purpose: What do we share as Generators? What makes our dedicated team unique? How do we intend to change the world? These are bold, ambitious questions – but then Generate is a bold, ambitious organization, dedicated to a singular mission — to harness the power of data and machine learning (ML) to program biology to dramatically improve the human condition and democratize biotherapeutics.

Beyond our mission, what else do we share as Generators? The following areas are key:

First, we are audaciously ambitious and fiercely united in our efforts to discover and break new ground. We are unapologetically scientific and relentlessly curious in our efforts to make accessible medicines. And we are intrinsically digital in how we harness the power of AI and digitalize everywhere possible. These are our shared values, and they are at the core of who we are and everything we do as Generators.

Our emphasis is on protein discovery and design because proteins are the basic machines of biology – the motors and sensors that make everything go. In 3.5 billion years of evolution, nature has only scratched the surface in designing protein folds and shapes of biological significance – finding only an infinitely tiny fraction of possible proteins. Similarly, life sciences have also been constrained in creating biologic and protein-targeting medicines for human diseases. Drug discovery has been hard to scale, and the majority of protein-based therapeutics have been borrowed directly from nature.

Generate is changing that. We are inferring the generalizable principles governing the interrelationships among protein sequence, structure, and function directly from data by using ML – a paradigm that is the foundational concept of generative biology. These principles allow us to program novel medicines – proteins that have never existed – that can treat a wide array of diseases in a way that has eluded traditional drug discovery efforts.

We’ve shared the first fruits of these pioneering efforts in just the past few months. The data we have now published demonstrate how our ML-based learning model, Chroma, makes it possible to design vastly greater numbers of new proteins and to program them for optimum combinations of symmetry, shape, binding affinity, potency, and developability. This programming ability allows us to do what has never been possible before — create proteins in a precise and controlled fashion that interact with specified biological targets.

Generate also recently published data in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Immunology that demonstrates the power of our technology platform to generate re-surfaced proteins, which may provide a means to create novel therapies for diseases with limited therapeutic options. By re-surfacing or re-coding proteins, we may be able to reduce the effects of pre-existing immunity to protein-based therapies, facilitating the development of new, urgently needed treatment options for patients.

In the past, protein engineering has been costly, time- and labor-intensive, and had limited capacity. The efficient and effective computational design of therapeutic proteins that we can now accomplish has become feasible through simultaneous innovations in computational processing power, ML approaches, and seamless integration with the wet lab, using high-throughput methods for producing and evaluating novel proteins.

These breakthrough results have revolutionary implications for human health. The capability to program novel proteins holds great promise for designing and developing therapeutics- enabling us to bring more high-quality medicines to patients faster. As our technology platform is constantly learning from each new protein we produce and validate in the lab, it will enable therapeutic development on a scale previously unseen.

Second, we all act as owners of the organization. We share an open, inclusive, and collaborative culture based on integrity, trust, and a passion for learning. Generators are driven by the desire to create a healthier world. I see this in our science and engineering, in how we run our company, and in the impact we hope to have on the lives of patients. We’re approachable and authentic, willing to take initiative, and always say yes when asked to help. The diversity of our backgrounds and experience is a major strength. There isn’t any problem we can’t solve if we put our collective minds to the task. We’re both teaching and learning from each other in the process — we value interdisciplinary thinking. We trust our colleagues and hold ourselves and each other accountable.

It’s a pleasure to come to work every day with colleagues who are so engaged and committed, and we will all do our best to continue fostering our culture that is both stimulating and productive. We are already seeing evidence that our way of working together is generating comparative advantage. We are convinced that our culture will be the foundation that enables us to achieve unprecedented scalability, specificity, and speed in our efforts to bring forward new therapeutics and to change the nature of drug discovery and development.

These are all reasons why I’m so optimistic about 2023. We will continue our journey toward becoming a computationally native drug company through progress on several fronts. This year, we anticipate an exponential increase in our proprietary data sets of functional, biophysical, and structural data – allowing us to refine our computational models and make better proteins faster. We also plan to demonstrate generalizability and therapeutic application of the Generate platform across a range of different protein modalities. Given the productivity of our platform, we are in discussions with a number of potential partners with complementary capabilities to benefit more patients. Importantly, we will file our first investigational drug applications (INDs), and see our initial medicines enter human testing. It’s going to be an exciting year.

Our shared values and our open, inclusive, and collaborative culture capture the essence of what we share as Generators. Of course, each of us will continue to define what we share through the work we do every day. Each one of us makes a unique contribution to our success, which is only achieved by working together. We know that disruptive innovation is a team sport – and we can make a big difference in this world together!

Today and every day, I am proud to be a Generator.