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Immunai Acquires Swiss Bioinformatics Firm Nebion

NEW YORK — Immune profiling firm Immunai said on Thursday that it has acquired Swiss bioinformatics firm Nebion for an undisclosed price.

New York City- and Tel Aviv-based Immunai said the acquisition would allow it to expand its target discovery and drug development capabilities and that Nebion's experience curating public gene expression datasets would help Immunai grow its Annotated Multiomic Immunological Cell Atlas, or AMICA.

"As with other machine learning endeavors like autonomous driving or NLP, having the right data is key," Noam Solomon, Immunai CEO and cofounder, said in a statement. "We're thrilled to bring on the Nebion team and their platform to enhance our target discovery and validation capabilities."

The acquisition follows Immunai's purchase in March of software firm Dropprint Genomics.

Immunai's platform profiles immune cells via a combination of single-cell RNA-seq, cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing, or CITE-seq, VDJ-seq, and other methods. The company uses the profiles to build out its AMICA, which it is using for drug and biomarker development.

The company also announced several new personnel moves, including the addition of Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Robert Langer to its board of directors; the appointment of Jacques Banchereau, former chief science officer at Roche, as chief science officer; and the appointment of Mark Jacobstein, formerly the chief user engagement officer at Guardant Health, as chief business officer.

"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," Langer said in a statement.