Totient, a Cambridge, Mass.-based AI-driven drug discovery company, emerged from stealth with $10M in seed funding.
Backers included Mission BioCapital, Sands Capital, Viva Biotech, Kaitai Capital, Tau Ventures, Jonathan Milner, and more.
Founded by CEO Deniz Kural, PhD and CBO James Sietstra, Totient provides a platform that leverages tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs) to identify novel tissue-specific antigens and develop matching high-affinity antibody therapeutics. Totient reconstructs antibodies from tissues affected by autoimmunity, infections, and cancer, collected from patients experiencing exceptional immune responses. Beginning with a population of over 50,000 samples, they have reconstructed antibodies against both known and novel extracellular oncology targets: GAGE1, GAGE2A, ANXA1, C4BPB, IL14A, BIRC7, HCLS1, GPR83, and others undisclosed. The company’s human-derived antibodies are highly specific to tissue-specific antigens, and are suited for cell therapies, ADCs, and bispecifics.
The company also has adapted its platform and approach to aid in the effort to discover COVID-19 antibodies, which could be used to prevent and treat the virus. They recently announced a collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to reconstruct anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples. Existing efforts focus on blood-derived antibodies, so focusing on BALF samples will enable Totient and Ginkgo to mine a previously unexplored source of therapeutic candidates.