Immunai wants to digitally map the immune system, and it's amplified those efforts in recent months with two acquisitions and multiple funding rounds. The latest is a $215 million series B that will fund new partnerships, more acquisitions and a doubling of the team.
The New York City-based startup, founded in 2018, hauled in the financing after already raising $60 million in February and a $20 million seed round last year. The fresh proceeds come after two acquisitions this year: single-cell genomics software firm Dropprint Genomics in March and Swiss bioinformatics company Nebion in July.
Those acquisitions and Wednesday's financing are geared toward elevating Immunai to the "largest single-cell immune database in the world," said Noam Solomon, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder, in an interview with Fierce Biotech.
As a result of the financing, Immunai will ink more partnerships to help biopharmas find drug targets for clinical development. The company has about 30 partnerships thus far with Fortune 100 pharmas and academic institutions like Harvard, Stanford and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
"There are many things underway, including preclinical and clinical trials with our partners," Solomon said. The CEO declined to name the drug developers or the specific diseases.
The company spent its first two years largely focused on immuno-oncology and cancer research. For the past nine months, though, Immunai has expanded into autoimmune, cardiovascular and neuroinflammation indications, Solomon said.
Money from the series B will go toward potential acquisitions to complement Immunai's expansion into other indications and therapeutic areas and modalities, Solomon said.
"This is not the final acquisition that we have made," the CEO said.
Immunai will also invest in in vivo and in vitro studies, as well as double its headcount, which currently stands at 120 employees across New York, Tel Aviv, Zurich, Prague and San Francisco, Solomon said.
There's likely at least one more private financing round in the cards before an initial public offering.
"We want to really invest in solidifying the platform, capabilities and partnerships," before landing on Wall Street, the CEO said.
Koch Disruptive Technologies led the series B and included backers Talos VC, 8VC, Alexandria Investments and others.