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LabGenius. (5/21/24). "Press Release: LabGenius Raises £35 Million Led by M Ventures to Further Develop Its ML-driven Antibody Discovery Platform and Progress a Pipeline of Assets Towards the Clinic". London.

Organisations Organisation LabGenius Ltd.
  Organisation 2 LG (Group)
Products Product EVA™ smart robotic drug discovery platform
  Product 2 venture capital
Index terms Index term LabGenius–SEVERAL: investment, 202405 financing round Series B £35m led by M Ventures
  Index term 2 LabGenius–Merck (DE): investment, 202405 financing round Series B totalling £35m incl new + lead investor M Ventures
Person Person Hardick, Oliver (Merck (DE) 202405 at M Ventures)
     


> Additional new investors Octopus Ventures and LG Corp joined the Series B round together with existing investors including Atomico, Kindred Capital, Lux Capital and Obvious Ventures.

> LabGenius will use the new funds to further develop its proprietary machine learning (ML)-driven drug discovery platform, which enables the rapid identification of powerful and unique biotherapeutics. The company will also progress a wholly-owned pipeline of multispecific antibodies for the treatment of solid tumours towards the clinic.


LabGenius, a drug discovery company pioneering the use of machine learning for the discovery of novel therapeutic antibodies, today announced that it has closed a £35 million Series B financing round. The investment brings LabGenius’ total funding to date to £58 million.

The round was led by new investor M Ventures (the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of science and technology company Merck), with participation from additional new investors Octopus Ventures and LG Corp, together with existing investors including Atomico, Kindred Capital, Lux Capital and Obvious Ventures.

Oliver Hardick of M Ventures and Oliver Sims of Octopus Ventures have joined existing Directors Irina Haivas of Atomico, Leila Zegna of Kindred Capital, James Field (CEO) and Edwin Moses (Independent Chair) to form the Company’s new Board of Directors.

LabGenius will use the capital raised to expand the scope of its ML-driven discovery platform and progress a wholly-owned pipeline of multispecific antibodies towards the clinic. Building on the success of a recent research collaboration with Sanofi, the extended platform capability will facilitate broader strategic partnerships across multiple therapeutic modalities.

LabGenius’ unique discovery capability is powered by EVA™: a smart robotic platform capable of designing, conducting and, critically, learning from its own experiments. This highly automated closed-loop discovery engine enables the rapid identification of high-performing antibodies with non-intuitive designs.

For its wholly-owned pipeline, the company is using its platform to address the challenge of on-target, off-tumour toxicity. Therapeutic antibodies target diseased cells by binding to surface markers that are present at higher-than-normal levels. In the case of solid tumours, a challenge with this approach is that sub-populations of healthy cells often express the same surface markers. If a therapeutic antibody fails to differentiate between healthy and diseased cells expressing the same surface markers, on-target off-tumour killing will occur. Toxicity via this mechanism is a significant issue for many therapeutics in development.

Optimising antibodies for tumour selectivity in combination with other key factors like potency, efficacy and developability is a considerable challenge. With conventional methods, antibodies are sequentially optimised for different properties of interest. This process is inherently inefficient as improving one property in isolation can result in a performance loss across other key properties. LabGenius’ pioneering technology platform uses an active learning method called Multi-Objective Bayesian Optimisation (MOBO) to enable the efficient co-optimisation of antibodies across multiple important properties. In addition to being more efficient than conventional methods, the LabGenius process is also designed to be free from human bias and yields high-performing antibodies with non-intuitive designs.

Dr. Oliver Hardick, of M Ventures, commented: “LabGenius’ differentiated ML-driven platform enables the rapid co-optimisation of complex multispecific antibodies across both disease-relevant cell-based assays and key developability assays. The LabGenius approach has the potential to address many of the fundamental challenges faced by antibody engineers. We are excited to lead this financing alongside our co-investors and partner with LabGenius’ exceptional team as they scale their platform and progress their pipeline towards the clinic.”

Dr. James Field, Chief Executive Officer of LabGenius, said “Being able to engineer complex multispecific antibodies has immense potential value. Over several years, the LabGenius team has pioneered the development of EVA™ - a discovery platform that’s 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 and look forward to working with our investors as we accelerate the development of both our platform and pipeline.”

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 both to the power and potential of the LabGenius platform and also the quality and dedication of the LabGenius team. We look forward to using our unique and powerful platform to develop new medicines to meet high unmet medical needs and in doing so, reward all our stakeholders for their extraordinary support.”


About LabGenius

LabGenius is a drug discovery company pioneering the discovery of next-generation therapeutic antibodies. The company’s discovery platform, EVA™, integrates several cutting-edge technologies drawn from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotic automation and synthetic biology. LabGenius operates under a hybrid business model that involves partnering with large biotech and pharmaceutical companies in parallel with pursuing a wholly-owned therapeutic pipeline. For more information, please visit www.labgeni.us, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About M Ventures

M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital fund of Merck. From its headquarters in the Netherlands and offices in Germany, USA and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by innovative entrepreneurs in the areas of Healthcare drug development, Life Science tools, Electronics and Frontier Technology & Sustainability. Taking an active role in its portfolio companies, M Ventures teams up with management teams and co-investors to translate scientific discoveries into commercial success. M Ventures focuses on identifying and financing novel solutions to some of the most difficult challenges, through company creation and equity investments in fields that will impact the vitality and sustainability of Merck's current and future businesses. For more information, visit www.m-ventures.com.


About Octopus Ventures

Octopus Ventures is one of the largest and most active venture capital investors in the UK and Europe, investing in and supporting the people, ideas, and industries that are changing the world. It has built expertise across seven sectors: B2B software, climate tech, consumer tech, deep tech, fintech, biotech and health, and has backed more than 180 businesses across the UK and Europe, including successes like Zoopla, WaveOptics, and Depop. Octopus Ventures invests in people and teams from as early as ideas on a page all the way through to the later stages of growth, providing capital, expertise, and partnership. Octopus Ventures manages £1.9 bn for retail and institutional investors and invests £200m yearly. It is part of Octopus Investments, an investment company investing in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world. Hear from Octopus Ventures experts at www.octopusventures.com.


Contacts

Media enquiries:
press@labgeni.us

Corporate and business development:
James Field
partnerships@labgeni.us

   
Record changed: 2024-06-05

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