In the face of adversity and amidst a backdrop of recent turmoil in Israel, Mana.bio, an Israeli biotech startup, has defied the odds by unveiling its groundbreaking programmable drug treatment solution. Despite the challenges posed by the recent attacks in the country, Mana forged ahead, launching its innovative approach to drug therapy.
Their AI-driven methodology surpasses several conventional constraints, empowering the creation of precise and optimized formulas for the delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics and vaccines beyond the liver. Through the utilization of AI to dramatically reduce development time and attain innovative, IP-protected outcomes, they are not solely propelling gene therapy to new heights but also opening up unprecedented avenues for partnerships and groundbreaking innovations in the realms of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
Mana.bio’s AI platform operates by conceptualizing new lipid nanoparticle (LNP) prospects in a virtual environment through the deployment of their machine learning models, capable of forecasting desirable characteristics that guide the selection of exceptional, cell-specific, tissue-targeted LNPs. Mana.bio leverages its high-throughput capabilities to manufacture dozens of LNP formulations every week, translating computational models into tangible entities via automated manufacturing pipelines.
To ensure the quality and performance of each constructed LNP, Mana.bio conducts comprehensive assessments using automated, high-throughput screening infrastructure. These evaluations encompass assays for efficacy, safety, and physicochemical attributes, contributing to the identification of top-tier candidates. Concurrently, this process generates data that aids in the ongoing enhancement of machine learning model predictions. All experimental findings are digitally archived and instantaneously integrated into the AI platform’s training dataset, thus facilitating weekly model improvements.
Moreover, the Mana.bio automation platform continually taps into publicly available data using its distinct software tools, further enriching their ever-expanding proprietary database. This continuous enrichment enhances the AI models’ proficiency in designing tissue-targeted LNPs.
At the core of this venture lies an AI-driven method called liquid nanoparticles (LNP), a technology designed to create revolutionary programmable drug treatments. Mana’s cohesive experimental and machine learning platform empowers the exploration of more intelligent, expeditious, and precise delivery formulations, thereby unraveling the potential in the domain of nucleic acid-based and genetic medicines.
Central to their solution are RNA-based therapies, which hold immense potential in treating infectious diseases, cancers, and single genetic disorders. However, RNA molecules, as Debbi pointed out, are highly volatile and need protection until they are safely delivered into human cells. This necessitates a specialized carrier to preserve the integrity of these molecules during the delivery process.
Mana not only emerged from stealth mode but also announced a significant milestone: a $19.5 million seed investment led by prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz Bio + Health, Base4 Capital, NFX, LionBird, and Technio. This investment injects vitality into Mana’s vision, propelling their mission to new heights.
The company’s journey, however, was marked by unforeseen challenges. Founder Yogev Debbi, scheduled to present Mana’s innovative approach at conferences in San Diego, found himself grounded due to the cancellation of all flights out of Israel following the attacks. Yet, in the face of despair, Debbi and his team remained resolute. Despite the somber atmosphere, Mana chose to press forward.
Launching a startup is always a daunting task, especially in the volatile biotech sector. Doing so amid wartime adversity adds an unimaginable degree of difficulty. However, Mana remains undeterred, determined to navigate these challenges and make a difference in the world of drug development.
In the face of darkness, Mana’s commitment to progress shines as a beacon of hope, marking a significant stride toward a future where artificial intelligence and biotechnology collaborate to redefine medicine and drug treatments for all.