AI-Powered Antibody Drug Discovery Gets Boost as LabGenius Raises £35M in Series B Funding

Backed by investors including Merck’s M Ventures, LabGenius aims to accelerate its pipeline of multispecific antibodies with new funding
Funding & Investments
Emerging Technologies
May 21, 2024

LabGenius, a London-based firm specializing in machine learning for therapeutic antibody discovery, has secured £35 million in a Series B financing round, bringing its total funding to £58 million. The round was led by M Ventures, the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Merck, and included new investors Octopus Ventures and LG Corp, alongside existing backers Atomico, Kindred Capital, Lux Capital, and Obvious Ventures.

James Field, CEO of LabGenius (left) and new board member Oliver Hardick from M Ventures (right). [Image courtesy of LabGenius]

The company's Board of Directors will see new additions, with Oliver Hardick from M Ventures and Oliver Sims from Octopus Ventures joining existing members Irina Haivas of Atomico, Leila Zegna of Kindred Capital, CEO James Field, and Independent Chair Edwin Moses.

LabGenius plans to use the new funds to enhance its ML-driven discovery platform and advance its pipeline of multispecific antibodies toward clinical trials. The company recently collaborated with Sanofi and aims to expand its platform capabilities to foster broader strategic partnerships across various therapeutic areas.

"LabGenius’ differentiated ML-driven platform enables the rapid co-optimization of complex multispecific antibodies across both disease-relevant cell-based assays and key developability assays," said Dr. Oliver Hardick of M Ventures. "The LabGenius approach has the potential to address many of the fundamental challenges faced by antibody engineers."

Central to LabGenius' innovative approach is EVA™, a smart robotic platform designed to autonomously design, conduct, and learn from its experiments. This closed-loop discovery engine accelerates the identification of high-performing antibodies with non-intuitive designs, which are crucial for tackling the challenge of on-target, off-tumor toxicity.

Therapeutic antibodies aim to target diseased cells by binding to specific surface markers. However, healthy cells can sometimes express these markers, leading to toxicity. LabGenius’ technology uses Multi-Objective Bayesian Optimisation (MOBO) to efficiently co-optimize antibodies for tumor selectivity, potency, efficacy, and developability, avoiding the pitfalls of conventional sequential optimization methods.

"Being able to engineer complex multispecific antibodies has immense potential value," stated Dr. James Field, CEO of LabGenius. "Over several years, the LabGenius team has pioneered the development of EVA™, capable of systematically identifying novel high-performing multispecific antibodies with non-intuitive designs. I am inspired by the relentless drive that our team has shown in getting us to this important milestone."

LabGenius London based facilities. [Image courtesy of LabGenius]

The company's pipeline focuses on addressing significant unmet medical needs. Dr. Edwin Moses, Chairman of LabGenius’ Board and former CEO of Ablynx, commented, "Closing a round of this size and with such high-quality investors is a testament to the power and potential of the LabGenius platform and the quality and dedication of the LabGenius team."

With the new funding, LabGenius is poised to accelerate the development of its platform and pipeline, aiming to bring innovative therapies to patients and deliver value to its stakeholders.

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