– Top-tier investor syndicate co-led by Khosla Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners, with participation from Fifty Years and Cantos Ventures.

– Financing will be used to develop an AI-first protein design platform that enables the rapid end-to-end engineering of next-generation antibody therapeutics.

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 6, 2021–

Nabla Bio, a next-generation antibody design company, announced the closing of a $11M Seed financing round. The round was co-led by Khosla Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners, with participation from Fifty Years, Cantos Ventures, and others.

The new funding will be used to accelerate development of an AI-first protein design platform, enabling rapid end-to-end engineering of next-generation antibody therapeutics. Nabla’s platform combines state-of-the-art protein language modeling, a branch of AI-driven protein modeling Co-Founder & CEO Surge Biswas, Ph.D. helped pioneer, with a novel high-throughput multiplex antibody assay technology.

“We’re excited to welcome this top-tier syndicate of investors led by Khosla Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners. This funding will enable us to design better antibodies using our AI-first drug design platform, expand our team, and advance our current partnerships,” said Surge Biswas, Ph.D., Co-Founder & CEO, Nabla Bio.

“Our vision is to use AI tightly integrated with wet-lab experimentation to engineer multiple clinically essential and commercially enabling properties into next-generation antibody drugs and expand their reach over challenging targets,” said Frances Anastassacos, Ph.D. Co-Founder, Nabla Bio.

“As a team that is strongly bilingual in both the dry and wet-lab, Nabla is well positioned to be a leader in applying and improving upon the latest advances in protein machine learning toward therapeutic protein design,” said Mohammed AlQuraishi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, Columbia University and a Member of Nabla’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“Therapeutic antibody design is not just about binding to targets, and insufficient protein engineering is estimated to be responsible for a large fraction of clinical trial discontinuations and failures, especially for large molecule biologics that will play an increasingly prominent role in the clinic,” said Alex Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at Khosla Ventures. “As therapeutics become more complex with more functional domains, the role of AI in development will become critical.”

“Surge and his colleagues in George Church’s lab at Harvard were the first to apply modern natural language processing to protein modeling, and in five collaborations with large pharma and biotech, Nabla has shown that they have a best-in-class technology for multi-property protein optimization.” said Dylan Reid, Zetta Venture Partners. “This transformative approach will dramatically improve the quality of antibodies moving into the clinic and accelerate development.”

Current antibody drug development relies on an expensive and time-consuming process to find therapeutic candidates that satisfy all activity and developability constraints required to achieve clinical and commercial success. These challenges are particularly acute for newer antibody formats, which have the potential to unlock new therapeutic applications. Nabla is developing a high-throughput technology that enables generation of a predictive “biophysical fingerprint” for 1 million antibodies in a single step. Combined with proprietary advances in protein language modeling, Nabla’s platform enables the design and optimization of antibodies that clear multiple end-stage drug development criteria, maximizing the probability of clinical and commercial success.

About Nabla Bio

Nabla Bio is an antibody design company. The company’s AI-first protein design platform enables rapid engineering of best-in-class antibody therapeutics. The foundational technology was developed by CEO Surge Biswas, academic Co-Founder George Church and their team at Harvard, and has advanced the field of machine learning-guided protein modeling and design. The company has a fully functional wet lab to complement its machine learning capabilities. Nabla Bio is based in Boston, MA. For additional information, please visit www.nabla.bio.

Kimberly Ha
KKH Advisors


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.