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STAT Plus: Y Combinator to fund more academic spinouts developing small-molecule drugs

SAN FRANCISCO — The startup incubator Y Combinator plans to fund more early-stage drug makers, with a partnership designed to bring academic spinouts developing small-molecule drugs into its famed accelerator program. And in a Silicon Valley twist, the compounds it’s backing will often be recommended by an algorithm.

The push will start slowly, with only a handful of such startups expected to be accepted into Y Combinator’s winter 2020 batch of companies. But down the line? “If we get 50 great companies from [this partnership] applying to YC, we’ll fund all 50, no problem,” Jared Friedman, a partner at the incubator, told STAT.

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