May 14, 2020 / 4:04 PM / 16 days ago

U.S.-Israeli biotech startup Immunai raises $20 million

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - U.S.-Israeli startup Immunai, which has mapped the immune system to help detect and treat disease, said on Thursday it has raised $20 million in seed funding led by Viola Ventures and TLV Partners.

The funds will be used to further develop its technology while expanding its team of scientists, engineers, and machine learning experts.

“Cell therapies and cancer immunotherapies have revolutionized medicine in the last few years and are expected to continue for the near future,” the company said. “However, due to the incredible complexity of the immune system ... it is prohibitively hard to predict how drugs will affect immune cells.”

Immunai said its platform can help drug companies identify more subtle nuances in cell abundances and cell function to more accurately measure the efficacy of immunotherapies.

“This helps increase the speed in which drugs are developed and brought to market,” Chief Technology Officer Luis Voloch said.

Founded in December 2018, the company is headquartered in New York with a research and development centre in Israel.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch

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