Spotlight: meet the start-up and the investor
At a time when funding avenues are more stretched than ever, lifesciences companies are continuing to attract interest and investment. Biotech startup Baseimmune is currently closing its first investment round with lead investor Consilience Ventures.
Baseimmune is a biotech start-up founded to create the next generation of vaccines. The company’s unique platform is based on innovative and powerful technology which is able to generate antigens using a level of informatics depth not previously seen.
How has the Baseimmune platform been used the fight against COVID-19?
At Baseimmune we have a proprietary platform for the genomic and epidemiological analysis of pathogens that collects and processes data on specific pathogens to inform the design of vaccines. Since the beginning of the COVID crisis, we’ve been monitoring the evolutionary trends of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of vaccine development.
With the threat of novel variants that can escape antibodies induced by natural infection and approved vaccines, we see a major need for better methods of selecting antigens. The novel variants of concern currently spreading around the world demonstrate that is not enough to simply have immunogenic vaccines if the antigen no longer represents the dominant variants circulating in the population. Immune responses need to be directed to the right targets with sufficient diversity to accommodate mutations over time. At Baseimmune, we are developing multi-epitope antigens against SARS-CoV-2 that are more resistant to time and mutations than the single protein approach currently used.
How did your engagement with MedCity helped your progress?
Baseimmune technology is based on a versatile platform for antigen discovery that can be applied to a range of pathogens, including viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, bacteria, and protozoan such as malaria. Our core business includes aspects from both software and biotech start-ups and our business model and investment requirement reflect the hybrid nature of the company. For that reason, we need to have specialised investors that understand both spaces and can support us not only financially but with the required expertise. MedCity has facilitated the search by introducing us to key specialist investors that not only fit, but excel our investment requirements
What are your plans for the next year?
We are currently closing our first investment round that will support further development of our platform, manufacturing and testing of vaccines as part of our own pipeline.
Find out more about Baseimmunue here.
Consilience Ventures is the first start-up market network to fully align the interests of start-ups, venture capital investors and experienced and talented experts to help turn innovative ideas into high-growth businesses. The company’s business model proves expertise is the currency that defines start-up success and being part of a democratised network leads to better outcomes for every participant – founders, start-up investors and experts alike.
How extensive is your life sciences investment portfolio?
Consilience is a young VC focused on deep tech with seven companies in the portfolio of which one is Medtech. There are three Medtech companies deep in the funnel, two AI and one medical device. We make Seed and Series A investments and generally follow but can also lead. Although focused primarily on Medtech, we will consider life science companies in general.
What attracted you to BaseImmune as an investment target?
The vaccine space is where immuno-oncology was 20 years ago, targeting the most obvious antigens. Furthermore, the main focus has been on improving vaccine adjuvants and not antigen discovery. The Baseimmune data driven approach enables multi-epitope vaccines to be designed against difficult targets and to potentially provide better efficacy and resistance to vaccine escape. The founders have pedigree in vaccine design with two vaccines in clinical trials. Baseimmune has a clear route to market in the veterinary space while advancing human vaccines in malaria, Covid and other important indications.
What advice do you have for life sciences startups looking to attract investment at this time?
Even if an early stage company, try to get some understanding and feedback on how and why the technology would be utilised and what would drive adoption.
Find out more about Consilience Ventures here.