Twist nabs antibody discovery biotech Abveris for $190M a week after spinning out COVID unit

After deciding not to stick but twist its COVID-19 antibody program last week, Twist Bioscience is now snapping up an antibody drug discovery company.

The so-called synthetic DNA biotech is spending up to $190 million for privately owned Abveris (formerly known as AbX Biologics) and its in vivo antibody discovery services platform.

Its tech is focused on “developing the next generation of biologics, cell therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics in partnership with global biopharma leaders.”

Abveris’ platform, DiversimAb, is a family of hyperimmune mouse models, which, under the new buyout, can be humanized using the Twist antibody optimization solution to “develop superior biologics for rapid clinical advancement,” according to the biotech.

The deal comes after Twist found a path forward for its COVID-19 antibody program, spinning the project out to form startup Revelar Biotherapeutics and committing to investing up to $10 million in seed funding.

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“The addition of the Abveris discovery platform is a natural fit with Twist as it will complement and extend our biopharma antibody capabilities into mouse-based discovery and screening,” said Emily Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist.

“There are three key approaches to antibody discovery: synthetic libraries, which is the specialty of Twist; in vivo discovery through animal models; and artificial intelligence models. With the anticipated acquisition of Abveris, Twist will have expertise in each, creating a robust antibody design, discovery and screening organization to serve both our partners and our internal pipeline.”