Antiverse raises £1.4 million to advance its AI antibody drug discovery platform


15-03-2021
Murat Tunaboylu, Chief Executive Officer of Antiverse

Antiverse, a biotechnology company developing a computational antibody drug discovery platform, has raised seed funding totalling £1.4 million ($2 million USD), comprising new investment and match funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator. The funding will be used to further develop Antiverse’s AI antibody drug discovery platform, which rapidly and accurately predicts antibody-antigen binding to identify antibody drug candidates.

Investors in the seed funding round include Development Bank of Wales, Angel Co-Investment Fund, Tensor Ventures, Wren Capital, Ed Parkinson, Cambridge Angels and SyndicateRoom. A portion of the capital raised will be used to build a laboratory in Cardiff, Wales, and expand the technical team through recruitment of specialist machine learning engineers, laboratory scientists and structural biologists.

Antiverse, based in Cardiff, is combining machine learning and phage display techniques to model antibody-antigen interactions. The current version of the platform uses next generation sequencing and AI to provide diverse antibody candidates for any given target. The technology will enable the development of drugs for “difficult” targets associated with cancer, heart, and lung diseases.

Murat Tunaboylu, Chief Executive Officer of Antiverse (pictured), said: “Our investors recognise the potential of our AI-powered antibody drug discovery platform to provide a breakthrough in the industry. With our technology, it will be possible to develop drugs for difficult targets and ultimately reduce drug discovery timescales from years to weeks. In addition to platform development, the funding will enable us to invest in facilities and recruitment; we are grateful to our investors and Innovate UK for their continued support.”

Ed Parkinson, lead investor for the syndicate of Angel Investors, commented: “Antiverse has an ambitious team of AI experts and scientists with a vision to transform drug discovery. This is a great example of a world class business taking off in Wales with the support of the Development Bank of Wales.”

Martin Drdul, founder & general partner of Tensor Ventures, said:"We are very excited and confident investing into Antiverse. The company has great ambitions and shows huge potential in the intersection of biology and AI.”

Rafael Joseph, Development Bank of Wales, commented: “Together with our Wales Angel Co-Investment Fund, the Development Bank is helping more Welsh businesses to grow with equity funding; creating impact for the benefit of the Welsh economy. Our angel syndicates and networks are active across Wales and we are delighted to be supporting Antiverse on its journey with our seed investment. The Company really is at the cutting edge of using AI to augment and speed up the drug discovery process. Their work is transformational and it’s very exciting that it is happening here in Wales.”

 

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