Wales antibody drug discovery platform Antiverse secures £1.4M funding

Antiverse Image credits: Antiverse

Antiverse, a biotechnology company in Wales is developing a computational antibody drug discovery platform. Now, this company secured £1.4 million seed funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator. The other investors in the funding round include Development Bank of Wales, Angel Co-Investment Fund, Tensor Ventures, Wren Capital, Ed Parkinson, Cambridge Angels, and SyndicateRoom.

Eyes to build a lab in Wales

The company will use funds to develop further their AI antibody drug discovery platform that accurately and rapidly predicts antibody-antigen binding to identify antibody drug candidates. A portion of the investment will be used to build a laboratory in Cardiff, Wales. Also, it will expand the technical team by hiring specialist machine learning engineers, structural biologists and laboratory scientists.

Murat Tunaboylu, Chief Executive Officer of Antiverse, 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 the 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.”

“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.” said Martin Drdul, founder & general partner of Tensor Ventures.

Rafael Joseph, Development Bank of Wales commented: “Together with the Wales Angel
Co-Investment Fund, we work with Welsh businesses to drive growth and create 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 their journey with our equity seed funding. They really are 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.”

Antiverse: Heads up!

Founded in 2017 by Ben Holland, Murat Tunaboylu, and Rowina Westermeier, Antiverse combines machine learning and phage display techniques to model antibody-antigen interactions. Currently, its platform uses next-generation sequencing and AI to provide diverse antibody candidates for any given target. In the future, the technology will enable the development of drugs for “difficult” targets associated with cancer, heart, and lung diseases.

Recognised as one of the top biotech startups in the UK, their service is already in use by big pharma. Furthermore, the biotechnology company intends to accelerate drug development from years to weeks.