Immunai Acquires Swiss Company Nebion To Expand Its Platform for Target Discovery and Drug Development

Mark Jacobstein, Chief Business Officer of Immunai

The company welcomes the Nebion team, Moderna co-founder Robert Langer as a Board Member, and world-renowned immunologist Jacques Banchereau as incoming CSO

Immunai, a New York and Tel Aviv-based biotech company, announced its acquisition of the Swiss bioinformatics company Nebion. Nebion’s technology platform and database extend Immunai’s target discovery and drug development capabilities. In addition, Immunai has brought on several key executives, including Board Member Robert Langer, Chief Science Officer Jacques Banchereau, and Chief Business Officer Mark Jacobstein. The company has raised more than $90M in capital to-date to build its drug discovery platform.

The Nebion team brings 13 years of experience curating public gene expression datasets and developing intuitive discovery tools that help researchers learn from the transcriptome. Incorporating Nebion’s deeply curated public datasets will expand AMICATM, Immunai’s Annotated Multiomic Immunological Cell Atlas, already the largest such database in the world. This data will improve Immunai’s machine learning models, enabling the platform to find drug targets from aggregated public data sets and providing validation data for targets found through other methods.

Nebion’s single-cell data integration approaches represent a unique asset for high-resolution target identification and in-silico validation of candidate genes. Immunai’s partners will have access to more robust and granular insights, improving the quality of their drug discovery and development process.

“As with other machine learning endeavors like autonomous driving or NLP, having the right data is key,” said Noam Solomon, Immunai CEO and co-founder. “We’re thrilled to bring on the Nebion team and their platform to enhance our target discovery and validation capabilities.”

In addition to having exclusive licensing to Nebion’s database, Immunai gains its world-class team of biocuration experts. The company also welcomes new key leaders to its team:

  • Robert Langer, PhD, one of the leading chemical engineers of the 21st century, joins Immunai’s Board of Directors. Dr. Langer is the cofounder of Moderna along with more than 40 other public companies, is one of 12 Institute Professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has authored more than 1,000 patents, and has more citations than any engineer in history.
  • Jacques Banchereau, PhD,  joining as Chief Science Officer, is a world-renowned pioneer in human immunology and cancer immunotherapy. His most significant contributions include the discovery and functional characterization of several key immune cell types and effector molecules, and how these components can be perturbed in human disease or be harnessed to treat cancer. He also previously served as SVP and Head of Inflammation & Virology and Chief Science Officer at Roche.
  • Mark Jacobstein, joining as Chief Business Officer, has 25+ years of experience founding, building, and managing international high-growth companies in the internet, mobile, and molecular diagnostics industries and previously spent four years as Chief User Engagement Officer at Guardant Health.

“The immune system sits at the heart of most human disease, and I believe that the combination of multiomic single cell data with cutting edge machine learning will lead to an explosion in drug targets and ultimately to approved therapies,” said Robert Langer, Immunai board member and Moderna co-founder. “Much as Moderna’s platform for manipulating and programming mRNA has changed the therapeutic landscape, the same can be true with Immunai’s approach to untangling the immune system, perhaps the greatest mystery still to be solved in human biology.”

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