Profluent, spurred by Salesforce research and backed by Jeff Dean, uses AI to discover medicines

Key Points:

  • ProGen project aimed to design proteins using generative AI technology
  • One of the researchers from ProGen launched a company called Profluent focusing on custom-fit treatments through AI-designed proteins
  • Profluent aims to optimize gene editing for custom-designed editors targeting genetic diseases


Salesforce led the ProGen project to design proteins using generative AI, aiming to revolutionize medical treatment discovery. While the project initially made waves with successful proof-of-concept research, it faded into obscurity post-publication. Recently, former ProGen researcher Ali Madani founded Profluent, a startup focused on commercializing AI-designed proteins for pharmaceutical use.


Madani’s vision for Profluent involves custom-fit protein-based treatments tailored to patient needs, with a novel approach to gene editing. The startup leverages AI technology trained on vast protein data sets to optimize attributes for individualized genetic medicines. Profluent’s strategy aligns with industry trends where AI is increasingly employed to predict proteins and identify drug targets efficiently.


Notable examples include Nvidia’s MegaMolBART, Meta’s ESM-2, and DeepMind’s AlphaFold, showcasing the potential of AI in protein prediction and drug discovery. Profluent distinguishes itself by emphasizing collaboration with external partners to streamline the drug development process and reduce costs significantly.


By cutting down on time and resources required for treatment development, Profluent aims to transition from accidental discoveries to intentional design in biological solutions. The startup’s approach has garnered substantial support from influential investors, enhancing its credibility in the competitive biotech landscape.


Moving forward, Profluent plans to enhance its AI models, expand data sets, and secure partnerships to realize its ambitious goals swiftly. With rivals emerging rapidly in the field, the startup is poised to scale and advance its mission of transforming the future of genetic medicines through innovative AI-driven technologies.



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