Hundreds of Thousands of Biological Molecules Undiscovered in Plant Chemical Space Says Founder of New Drug Discovery Company

“Why do plants make a host of chemicals they don’t use? One answer that has always intrigued me is that, unlike us, they can’t walk up and walk away from an environment they don’t like. Evolution has honed this space for over 400 million years.”

That’s today’s guest, Viswa Colluru, Founder and CEO of Enveda Biosciences. Enveda is a drug discovery company with an innovative approach to a very old idea. The company is applying cutting-edge machine learning and metabolomics to a 50,000-year-old human practice—extracting medicinal value from plants. And they’ve just raised $50 million.

Viswa says that in spite of years of research, only about 5 to 10% of drugs advanced to clinical trials end up working in people. So he has returned to first principles. This and some early formative experiences in his home country of India have led him back to plants.

Viswa says there are hundreds of thousands of undiscovered biological molecules in plants. What?! How could that be? What have been biologists been up to all these years?