US pharmaceutical company Nabla Bio has secured $26m for generative protein design in a Series A financing round led by Radical Ventures.

The round included full participation from all existing investors.

Nabla has also entered strategic partnerships with Bristol Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and Takeda.

These partnerships could exceed $550m in upfront and milestone payments, in addition to royalty payments.

Nabla Bio specialises in the integration of AI and wet-lab technologies for atomically precise drug design and the high-throughput evaluation of drug function.

The company’s initial focus is on antibodies that target multipass membrane proteins such as G protein-coupled receptors, ion channels and transporters.

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These proteins are challenging to treat because of their membrane-integrated nature, reduced extracellular availability and structural similarity across targets.

Multipass membrane proteins, which constitute two-thirds of all cell surface proteins, play a central role in controlling cell behaviour. They have long been considered the “holy grail” of protein drug development.

Nabla’s generative protein design platform is now making hundreds of these previously inaccessible targets available by enabling the accurate designing of conformation and target-selective antibody binders.

To enhance the patient impact of its platform, Nabla is collaborating with other pharmaceutical companies known for successful drug development.

These partnerships aim to enhance their pipelines with high-quality drug candidates targeting some of the most challenging and high-impact proteins.

They are also aimed at generating insights into disease biology and platform development.

Since its launch in December 2021 with support from Khosla Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners, Nabla Bio has secured $37m in funding.

Nabla co-founder and CEO Surge Biswas stated: “We are unlocking new opportunities to build highly selective drugs against validated, but hard-to-drug targets with a degree of structural precision not previously possible.

“We are excited to welcome Radical Ventures as our newest investor and to announce collaborations with three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to help us bring our work closer to patients.”