Google Ventures Pushes Biotech With Adimab

By April 5, 2012

Google is known for an array of products that catalog and curate online content. But the company’s investment arm, Google Ventures, has for several years been directing funds to Adimab, a biotech outlet based in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Most recently, Google contributed part of a nearly $14 million of funding to move the venture – which researches therapeutic antibodies, a type of protein that the body’s immune system uses to defend itself against foreign threats, for medical applications – into an expanded research facility and to hire additional staff.

“Adimab is pushing the limits of science in the service of human health,” said Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris. “At Google Ventures, we are excited when some of the world’s smartest people tackle some of the toughest problems — and this is a good example of that.”

Adimab was founded in 2007 by Dartmouth professor Tillman Gerngross and MIT faculty member Dane Wittrup, both characterized by company materials as experts in yeast biotechnology. Gerngross has criticized the environmental impact of eliminating forests and grasslands in order to create biofuels.

“These additional funds enhance our already strong balance sheet, allowing us to pursue several complementary opportunities more aggressively,” Grossman said, in a press release. “We are accelerating the expansion of our platform to include additional applications such as the development of bi-specific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, targeting cell based antigens including GPCRs and ion channels, as well as preclinical manufacturing and mammalian cell line development.”

Another executive drew attention to the perceived quality of the investment, and to the company’s ambitious vision for growth.

“Our focus has always been on helping our partners develop better therapeutic antibodies,” said Chief Operating Officer Errik Anderson. “Therefore, as we see attractive opportunities to acquire or develop additional capabilities we want to have excess capital to pursue them. Based on the strength of our current business we were able to raise capital under very attractive terms, which made this an easy decision.”

Google Ventures has contributed funds to Adimab previously, in what was their first biotech investment.

“As long-time investors, we are excited about their progress to date and look forward to working with the Adimab team going forward,” Maris said. Antibodies are used by the immune system to battle invaders

Image: Adimab