BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aperiam Bio, the protein engineering company, today announced its launch from stealth with a $9 million seed round led by OMX Ventures, with participation from Axial VC, KDT Ventures and Civilization Ventures.
Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of life, but naturally only evolve to do enough to survive. Historically, businesses working with proteins have had to rely on time-consuming and expensive processes to improve how these proteins function within their products. Despite significant recent scientific breakthroughs, the engineering of advanced proteins has so far been limited to university labs or a small number of companies undertaking laborious and expensive ultra high throughput processes.
Aperiam Bio applies a patented, 3D computer vision algorithm – akin to ‘facial recognition for proteins’ – to identify succinct, targeted improvements to proteins that make them more effective and durable than they are in nature.
CEO Austin Cole spent seven years developing this structure-first algorithm at UT-Austin’s Ellington Lab of Molecular Biosciences. The algorithm allows scientists to bypass existing cumbersome methods of protein engineering and deliver shelf-stable proteins with novel applicability across a huge range of human problems, from consumer applications to pulmonary therapeutics.
“Proteins are nature’s C students. Our technology turns them into valedictorians,” said Aperiam Bio Founder and CEO Austin Cole. “By developing more stable, targeted, and effective protein chemistries, we can deliver an entirely new class of products to the lung.”
Aperiam Bio has demonstrated its algorithms create product-enabling increases to proteins’ chemical, thermal, and mechanical stress tolerance by:
- Increasing the luminance of the blue fluorescent protein (BFP) by 10x and strengthening the protein’s chemical and thermal stress tolerance.
- More than doubling a wholly-owned protein's tolerance to nebulization, thereby unlocking therapeutic protein delivery to the lung.
- Showing intended efficacy of this improved protein in an animal model, thereby unlocking a whole class of pulmonary biologic products.
“There are a number of companies out there doing protein and enzyme design for biotech applications. What attracted us to Aperiam is the company’s proven ability to efficiently identify new and improved structural variants to existing proteins and apply those proteins to novel problems," said Nick Haft, Managing Director of OMX Ventures. “Many of the markets in Aperiam’s sights, like consumer products and pulmonary products, have not leveraged this new and exciting generation of biotechnologies — and Aperiam intends to change that.”
Aperiam Bio’s seed round will expand R&D for its wholly owned products and advance the company’s work to-date building strong partnerships with companies that are tackling the wide array of problems where pulmonary products are the solution.
Aperiam Bio is a protein and pulmonary product company. Aperiam makes stronger, faster proteins - and is the only company using a 3D computer vision algorithm to improve proteins so they work better than they do in nature. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Aperiam was founded on technology built at the University of Texas. Learn more at https://www.aperiambio.com/