BioTech ‘to speed up cancer drug discovery from years to weeks’
Posted on March 15, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
A biotechnology company hopes to speed up the drug discovery development timetable for cancer and other life-threatening diseases to mere weeks.
Welsh firm Antiverse, behind a computational antibody drug discovery platform, has raised seed funding totalling £1.4 million.
The investment comprises new investment and match funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator. It will be used to further develop the platform, which it says 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 and expand the technical team through recruitment of specialist machine learning engineers, laboratory scientists and structural biologists.
The technology will enable the development of drugs for “difficult” targets associated with cancer, heart, and lung diseases.
“Our investors recognise the potential of our AI-powered antibody drug discovery platform to provide a breakthrough in the industry,” said CEO Murat Tunaboylu.
“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.”