(Bloomberg) -- French pharmaceutical technology company Aqemia has reached a multi-year research collaboration agreement valued at up to $140 million with industry giant Sanofi SA, according to a statement.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Aqemia will design novel drug molecules using its generative AI and deep physics algorithms and platform, it said in the statement. Unlike other AI-driven platform technologies that require chemical experimental data to train on before starting the design phase, Aqemia will generate such data right from the start of a project.

“This new partnership with Aqemia is part of an ongoing story that began with our French teams three years ago,” Jacques Volckmann, Sanofi’s vice president of research and development for France, said in the statement. “During this period, we have followed with attention and enthusiasm the development of their technology that combines theoretical physics and generative AI.”

Paris-based Aqemia will receive upfront and milestone payments under the accord. The company plans to use the funds for further R&D, as well as to scale up its AI-enabled drug discovery, founder and Chief Executive Officer Maximilien Levesque said in an interview.

Levesque added that Aqemia aims to double its workforce to 100 within a year.

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