CADDS Ecosystem

Chemistry for Academic Drug Discovery Startups (CADDS)

The CADDS Ecosystem helps academic researchers build successful startups in preclinical drug discovery.

Atomwise knows the success of a biotech startup doesn’t just depend on great science – it has to have access to the best technology, the right investors, and trusted expertise from industry leaders. The CADDS Ecosystem was created by Atomwise to share its growing network of premier companies with its startup partners. This ecosystem includes a network of industry leading technology, experienced teams of drug developers, investors and funding opportunities, deals for chemical compounds and assays, assistance with setting up and growing a startup, and guidance from fellow entrepreneurs.

Supporting the Full Lifecycle of Preclinical Drug Development

Startups working with Atomwise have access to all the tools and resources that Atomwise and our partners, including leading CRO, Charles River, and vendors, Mcule and Enamine, have to offer to support innovation and the development of the next generation of medicines.

What is the CADDS Ecosystem?

"Universities across the world are telling us they want to spin-off companies with us that can build on the successes that have come out of our AIMS Awards or their other research programs, and work with us all the way through preclinical drug development. We recognize the responsibility and want each startup to have the best chance of success."

Life science and chemistry researchers at universities around the world are at the forefront of innovation and the future of small molecule drug discovery. Many simply have a great idea and passion, and others have a promising compounds generated through Atomwise’s artificial intelligence molecular screening program (AIMS) or from other academic research programs. These researchers are ready and excited to create a company and develop new therapies, but need help to make that happen. Atomwise and its partners recognize that the success of these companies requires an ecosystem – partners that can help with research, funding, and building a company.

The CADDS Ecosystem is designed for universities and researchers across the world that are ready to create companies or joint ventures with Atomwise.

The heart of the ecosystem is Atomwise’s breakthrough AI drug discovery technology. One of the greatest barriers to early biotech startups is the enormous cost and time required at the outset. Traditionally startups need a large upfront investment for physical screening and chemical synthesis to even be able to get started – the stage in drug development when the risks are highest, time is short, and funding is very limited.

Atomwise’s AI technology changes the equations and de-risks early preclinical R&D – millions of diverse compounds can be rapidly and efficiently evaluated. This allows startups to quickly go from target or early compounds to novel, high value assets. Of course, startups need more than technology, they also need broad expertise in drug development, and the resources, tools, and partners to grow their company, and that’s where the CADDS Ecosystem adds incredible value to small companies.

The Atomwise and Y Combinator partnership goes beyond thinking of preclinical drug development success purely in terms of R&D success. It adds a key element to startup success: company development. A viable business model and company are needed to make the preclinical drug discovery happen. Y Combinator knows better than anyone about that early startup success is about getting the right expertise and resources quickly from a trusted network, and have the success to prove it.

Y Combinator

Y Combinator is the number one startup fund and incubator. YC will guide selected startups their applications will be prioritized. YC will advise them on everything from figuring out their regulatory strategy to getting lab space.

Charles River

Charles River provides essential services to accelerate research and drug development efforts. Charles River can help startups in the CADDS Ecosystem with early discovery research all the way to IND.


Mcule supplies startups with the rapid delivery of compounds from around the world within 3 weeks (because every week matters!). 3 million compounds available, delivered QCed and ready for assays.


Enamine is a leader in chemical synthesis and can build billions of compounds on demand. Atomwise and Enamine are able to work together to quickly deliver novel compounds to our startup partners around the world.


As part of The Harrington Project, BioMotiv is a mission-driven pharmaceutical accelerator. BioMotiv advances selected projects toward commercialization with pharmaceutical expertise, capital, and industry partnerships.

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