Next-generation small molecule therapeutics

Engineering biology at massive scale to accelerate drug discovery.


The core challenge to treating the most complex diseases in our society is understanding what to ‘drug’ in the first place.

Every year brings us exciting new genetic and clinical datasets, but even if a particular gene is implicated in a disease, we usually don’t understand the biochemical mechanisms that link the genetics to the disease, and how to modulate those mechanisms with safe and effective molecules. Octant engineers biology at massive scales to unlock that data layer and build novel treatments for complicated multi-modal diseases.

Our Platform

Octant's Technology Platform

At our core, Octant is a therapeutics company engineering biology to navigate the biological complexity in drug discovery.

The four components of our platform enable experiments at the massive scale of computational simulations, but with gold-standard real-life experiments in human cells instead. By viewing the biology through this massively parallel experimental lense, we can see problems and solutions that otherwise can’t be seen. Cellular Intelligence unlocks completely new approaches that are more native to how biology actually manifests.

High throughput Synthetic Biology

We design, build and test millions of custom cell lines, each precisely engineered to measure the various biochemical activities of drug targets. We engineer these cells with genetic barcodes that measure for us what is happening in the cell.

High Throughput Chemistry

Nanomole-scale chemical synthesis brings together custom-designed chemical cores with tens of thousands of fragments to enable both exploration and subtle tuning of chemical space to:

  • Probe the biochemical pathways of human cells

  • Engineer novel molecules that modulate complex therapeutic profiles

Multiplexed Assay Platform

All of this comes together on our massively parallel high throughput drug discovery platform. We iterate on thousands of genetic and chemical inputs to generate millions of biological outputs in human cells.

We use this platform to:

  • Design gene circuits at unprecedented speeds

  • Uncover the workings of the biochemical pathways in our bodies

  • Engineer new therapies to treat multi-factorial diseases


All of the above is enabled, processed, and accelerated by our advanced statistical and machine learning pipelines and tools.

We use the most advanced bioinformatics and software techniques to:

  • Guide us through complex datasets

  • Iterate on design decisions

  • Generate knowledge from our gold-standard experimental data

Cellular intelligence

The mechanistic relationships between genetics, chemistry, and disease are staggeringly complex.

One promising approach to addressing this complexity and solving for “unknowns” is computational models, especially AI.

These approaches conduct thousands of simulations, train them on small amounts of experimental data, and hope that the model recapitulates some of the mechanisms at play. But biology is already the most powerful information processor we know. What if we just scaled actual experiments to outstrip even simulation? That’s what we do at Octant. Our approach, which we call “cellular intelligence” is to instead ask our questions directly within the world we are given by engineering human cells to compute for us.

Our Purpose

Taking on the challenge of complex diseases

There are countless rare and common genetic diseases that society is not progressing against, because they’re hard. For example, many major pharmaceutical companies have dropped their neuropsychiatric programs, even though these are some of society’s greatest disease burdens. If they won’t do it, who will?

At Octant, we take next-generation approaches to drug discovery that nobody else is taking. If we don’t do it, who will?

Contact us

If you are passionate about next-generation drug discovery, we'd love to hear from you.