2nd November, 2021
Baseimmune closes $4.8m funding round to future-proof vaccines
LONDON, UK - Biotech startup Baseimmune has secured $4.8m funding to develop the next generation of future-proof universal vaccines against existing and emerging human and animal health threats including COVID, malaria and African Swine Fever.
The latest $4.8m investment round led by Hoxton Ventures, will enable the company to scale the number of programs in development and accelerate development of vaccines. The round also included existing investors Creator Fund, along with Cherry Ventures, Beast Ventures, Rockmount Seed Investments and Maki.vc.
Hussein Kanji, partner at Hoxton Ventures, says, “Through COVID, we’ve all learned the importance of having effective and rapidly developed vaccines. With its unique software platform, Baseimmune is setting the bar by leveraging AI to innovate vaccine therapies.”
Hussein Kanji, Hoxton Ventures
The pandemic has fuelled a renaissance in vaccine research underpinned by the deployment of novel vaccine delivery systems and robust worldwide manufacturing pipelines, with the global vaccine market predicted to reach $108 billion by 2027.
Most vaccine are based on a single pathogen component, such as the spike protein of the COVID SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which limits their effectiveness and ability to cope with new variants. Baseimmune’s vaccine design algorithm crunches genomic, epidemiological, immunological, and evolutionary data to create artificial proteins with antigens from the entire genome to evoke protective and mutation-proof immune response.
These ‘pick and mix’ antigens effectively empowers the immune system with a toolkit of everything it is likely to need to know about how to recognise and respond to a particular pathogen. The antigen designs can then be formulated into any vaccine technology platform, including mRNA, DNA and viral vectors, to create universal future-proof vaccines that should be effective against all current and likely variants.
Co-founder Josh Blight says, “Vaccines are a powerful tool for eradicating infectious diseases, yet every year millions of lives are still lost or irreversibly changed worldwide due to preventable infections. We know vaccines work - we just need better ones against more diseases if we’re to truly make a difference to global health.”
Co-founder Ariane Gomes says, “I grew up in Brazil and saw first-hand the impact of infectious diseases as my aunt lived her whole life with the devastating effects of polio, a vaccine-preventable disease. The COVID pandemic has reminded us that infectious diseases aren’t going anywhere, so we urgently need to develop the next generation of vaccines to help protect us all.”
Co-founder Phillip Kemlo says, “The major problem with current vaccines is that they aren’t designed to account for the evolutionary arms race that occurs between pathogens and the human immune system, and can’t protect against future variants or new mutations. Our prediction algorithm addresses all of these challenges, accelerating the creation of vaccines that are as good as they possibly can be and will stand up to whatever variants may come in the future.”
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