Totient, a Viva Biotech Portfolio Company, has been Acquired by AbSci

16 June 2021 | Wednesday | News

The combination of the Totient technology with AbSci's platform provides the framework and data to enable in silico targeted drug design, and ultimately achieve the goals of making the best medicines available to patients in need.

Viva Biotech (01873.HK) declared today that Totient, one of its portfolio companies, has been acquired by AbSci, a synthetic biology company unlocking the potential of proteins as next-generation therapeutics. Totient is a biotech company, harnessing human immune responses to identify novel antibodies and their therapeutic targets. This acquisition adds antibody and target discovery technology to AbSci's platform for therapeutic protein design and biomanufacturing optimization.

The development of comprehensive predictive models that encompass the interactions of key proteins related to immune responses in different disease states is an enormous opportunity for biologic drug development. Building on Totient's ability to identify fully-human antibodies from patients who demonstrate differentiated immune responses, AbSci expects to generate a large collection of natural human antibodies and target antigens that it may leverage for therapeutic protein design as well as deep learning model training.

To date Totient has reconstructed more than 4,500 antibodies from over 50,000 patients and has de-orphaned a collection of promising antibodies by identifying and validating their target antigens. AbSci's high-throughput single cell protein expression systems and assays offer a complementary platform for rapidly and systematically de-orphaning the computationally derived antibody sequences in Totient's growing library.

The disease targets identified may be used in the discovery of new therapeutics, including those based on paired antibody sequences. Additionally, the data captured from billions of single cell experiments offer training sets for AbSci's Denovium Engine™ deep learning models.

"Totient's innovative work identifying disease-relevant molecules has exciting therapeutic potential," commented Sean McClain, founder and CEO of AbSci. "We believe that the combination of the Totient technology with AbSci's platform, including our Denovium AI, provides us the framework and data to enable in silico targeted drug design, and ultimately achieve our goals of making the best medicines available to patients in need."

"Together, AbSci and Totient are much more than the sum of our parts, with clear opportunities for synergy of our platforms and technologies," said Deniz Kural, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Totient. "Our computational biology technology allows us to identify thousands of new antibodies and other categories of proteins, and with AbSci, we look forward to scaling our target discovery capabilities to comprehensively de-orphan antibodies and validate new opportunities for drug development."

Dr. Han Dai, Chief Business Officer and Head of Investment of Viva Biotech said: "Starting in March 2019, Viva Biotech utilized a "cash + equity-for-service (EFS)" model to invest in Totient Inc. We fostered close cooperation with Totient's team which was a very fruitful experience for Viva. AbSci's acquisition of Totient also further demonstrates the successful operability of Viva's EFS model and provides an excellent example for an investment exit under this cooperative model. Totient has created a unique platform to screen antibody drugs from a tumor tissue database and in combination with AbSci's powerful Denovium AI platform, Totient's target discovery capabilities will be further enhanced. Viva is looking forward to seeing the new drug development opportunities created by AbSci's acquisition of Totient."


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