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The startup is using AI-driven technology to explore the world of fungi for new therapeutic drugs
By Andrew Findlay /

Pacific surf crashes and mist clings to the tops of old-growth spruce and cedar at the mouth of Kapoose Creek. Here on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, a startup is hoping to tap the frontier of fungi for new drugs. Kapoose Creek Bio operates a remote high-tech research facility overlooking the ocean and rainforest. From this base, staff collect fungi samples year-round, working closely with CEO Eric Brown, a Harvard-educated McMaster University biochemist. Brown’s lab has developed a proprietary AI-driven platform dubbed unEarth RX that’s enabling researchers to plumb the complexity of fungal biochemistry much faster than conventional approaches to laboratory drug discovery allow.

According to Brown, 30 percent of the 5,000 fungi samples in Kapoose Creek’s ever-growing collection have no known match in the public domain. “They’re mysterious,” he says. “Fungi are propelled by millions of years of interspecies evolution to create certain chemicals. We don’t know what they’ll be useful for. We just know they’re not created by accident. Nature doesn’t make mistakes.”

Kapoose Creek is focused on three broad areas of medical treatment: infectious disease, cancer and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

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