Israeli-founded biotech startup Immunai announced this week that it has raised a USD 215 million Series B round for its drug discovery platform, led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with participation from Talos VC, 8VC, Alexandria Venture Investments, Piedmont, ICON, and previous investors.
The New York-based firm has raised a total of USD 295 million to date. The new infusion of capital will be used to expand Immunai’s “drug actuary” platform for target validation and evaluation.
Founded in 2018 and based in New York and Tel Aviv, Immunai uses analytics and machine learning to map out the immune system and its functions in disease behavior, uncovering insights that lead to the discovery and development of more effective and targeted immunotherapies.
“We have made great progress towards our core mission of understanding the immune system, which we believe is essential to finding the answers to human health and disease,” said Noam Solomon, CEO and co-founder of Immunai. “Unlocking the immune system will accelerate the evaluation and development of novel immune medicines. Our approach is to combine best-in-class single-cell genomic methods and artificial intelligence with a deep understanding of immunology.”
Immunai has tripled in size in the last year, with more than 120 employees (70 of whom hold PhDs or MDs) in New York, Tel Aviv, Zurich, Prague, and San Francisco. The company has more than 30 partnerships with Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies and leading academic institutions, including Harvard, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Baylor College of Medicine.
Immunai has leveraged its best-in-class proprietary technologies and more than 25 academic partnerships to build AMICA, the Annotated Multiomic Immune Cell Atlas, the world’s largest data atlas of clinically-annotated single-cell immune data. This atlas, combined with Immunai’s team of immunologists and computational biologists, provides unique insights into underlying biology that drives disease etiology, allowing the company and its partners to discover novel targets as well as analyze and develop existing pipeline compounds.
“We’re starting to see the payoff from building our platform and the AMICA database. The ability of our platform to surface and evaluate new drug targets has given us the confidence to push into therapeutic development with our partners. We’re grateful for both the capital and expertise we’re receiving in the round, and will use both to develop our platform and help advance targets towards the clinic,” explained Luis Voloch, CTO and co-founder of Immunai.
“Immunai is leaving no stone unturned in understanding and developing technology to map the immune system—critical scientific work that will give us greater knowledge to treat diseases and improve patient outcomes,” said Eli Groner, managing director at Koch Disruptive Technologies, who will be joining Immunai’s board of directors. “We invested in Immunai because we recognize that understanding the immune system and its incredible complexity is key for the future of medicine.”
The funding comes on the heels of Immunai’s acquisition of Nebion and the addition of world-renowned scientists and engineers, including Robert Langer to the board of directors, Jacques Banchereau as chief science officer, and Mark Jacobstein as chief business officer.
The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.