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Health security firm Apriori Bio launches to combat virus variants

Written by Fri 15 Jul 2022


After more than two years of developing its Octavia technology, health security firm Apriori Bio has been launched by bio-platform innovation company Flagship Pioneering.

The Octavia technology is a unique biology-informed AI platform that is said to be able to “infer the full landscape of potential variants for a given virus.”

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, virus variants present a major threat to public health. The expected ability of Octavia to help support the creation of variant-proof vaccines and antibody drugs is one of the main reasons why Flagship Pioneering has made an initial commitment of $50 million to Octavia.

Using advanced machine learning tools, Apriori Bio works to understand the evolutionary paths underlying viral variability. By attempting to model how each variant would behave in real-life situations, the most serious threats can be uncovered and prepared for.

Lovisa Afzelius, Origination Partner at Flagship Pioneering and Co-Founder and CEO of Apriori, believes that while future virus outbreaks will happen, it’s vital to prepare well for new viral challenges.

“By integrating and learning from evolutionary and experimental data at unprecedented scale, Apriori can infer the behavior of and mitigate the danger posed by existing and future viral variants. Using Octavia, we can design uniquely effective new medicines and support public health by predicting the impact of emerging variants in real time,” Afzelius explains.

A combination of skilled data science experts and leading biologists are working together at Apriori Bio to ensure the next generation of vaccines are more effective than ever before. The first aim of Apriori Bio is to combat coronavirus, HIV and influenza. It may be some time before the health security firm is ready to release its most impactful products but the concept of variant-proof vaccines will be a welcome solution whenever they come.

Written by Fri 15 Jul 2022


AI analytics Coronavirus health
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