Baseimmune Closes $11.3M Series A to Accelerate AI-Designed Vaccines

Baseimmune Closes $11.3M Series A to Accelerate AI-Designed Vaccines
From left to right: Baseimmune co-founders Ariane C. Gomes (Chief Scientific Officer), Phillip Kemlo (Chief Technology Officer), and Joshua Blight (Chief Executive Officer). Credit: Baseimmune

London-based biotech startup Baseimmune has raised $11.3 million (£9 million) in Series A financing to advance its machine learning platform for streamlined vaccine design. The oversubscribed round welcomed new lead investors MSD Global Health Innovation Fund and IQ Capital, with additional support from early backers Hoxton Ventures, Creator Fund, Beast Ventures, and

Founded in 2019, Baseimmune leverages proprietary deep learning algorithms to predict future mutations of pathogens and design synthetic antigen proteins that can provide broader, longer-lasting immune protection. This AI-driven approach aims to create universally effective “future-proof” vaccines that keep pace with pathogen evolution.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of a top-tier investor syndicate led by MSD Global Health Innovation Fund and IQ Capital,” said Baseimmune CEO Joshua Blight. “This funding will enable us to accelerate the development of our technology, scale our programs, and expedite the delivery of impactful vaccines against future pathogens. We are more excited than ever about the possibilities.”

The new capital will support advancement of Baseimmune’s vaccine candidates for African swine fever, COVID-19, and malaria, currently progressing through preclinical development. The company also plans to grow its technical team, expand its AI platforms, and initiate further vaccine discovery programs targeting infectious disease.

At the heart of any vaccine is the pathogen-derived antigen that teaches our immune system how to recognize and neutralize infections. Conventional approaches identify single antigenic proteins such as viral spike proteins. But pathogens mutate rapidly, enabling them to evade immune defenses targeted at static antigens.

Baseimmune’s computational vaccine design platform crunches evolutionary, genomic, clinical, and immunological data to create multi-component antigen proteins encompassing crucial present and predicted future mutations across entire pathogen genomes. The company’s AI models can generate synthetic antigen blueprints in silico for accelerated vaccine prototyping and testing compared to traditional empirical guesswork.

“We believe Baseimmune’s technology marks a significant advancement in proactive, adaptable vaccine solutions,” said David M. Rubin of lead investor MSD Global Health Innovation Fund. “We are excited to support this forward-looking team."

These computationally derived antigens can integrate into multiple delivery platforms such as mRNA, viral vectors, or DNA to enhance the efficacy and longevity of resulting vaccine formulations. In this way, Baseimmune provides plug-and-play antigen innovation to complement cutting edge vaccine technologies while mitigating the need for yearly vaccine redesign against mutable threats.

In an age of growing anti-vaccine sentiments, next-generation vaccine platforms may be crucial for maintaining public health. In particular, preparedness for potential pandemics demands tools that can respond quickly to emerging infectious diseases.

“Modelling pathogen evolution and immune response, Baseimmune’s platform pioneers the next generation of universal vaccines against complex pathogens that have been failed by traditional approaches,” said investor Alex Wilson of IQ Capital. “Generating cross-protective, mutation-resistant vaccines, this cutting-edge biotech could transform our ability to combat existential threats from COVID to malaria.”

Baseimmune’s founding team combines PhD immunologists and vaccinologists from Oxford University with machine learning engineers. With infectious diseases causing over 10 million deaths globally each year, the startup’s fusion of AI and biotech could prove a pivotal innovation in the quest to preempt and control disease outbreaks worldwide.

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