Apriori Bio Secures $1.1M Funding from CEPI to Advance AI Platform Against Viral Threats

  • Apriori Bio receives $1.1 million from CEPI to enhance Octavia™ AI platform.
  • Octavia identifies viral variants and designs vaccines resistant to mutations.
  • Funding targets pandemic influenza strain H3N2 research.
  • CEPI supports biosecurity efforts and open access to project outcomes.
  • Initiative aims to accelerate global pandemic preparedness and vaccine development.

Main AI News:

Biotechnology firm Apriori Bio has secured $1.1 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to bolster its pioneering AI platform, Octavia™. This platform, which merges biology and artificial intelligence, aims to safeguard humanity against swiftly evolving viruses by developing vaccines that are resilient to variants.

Octavia operates by analyzing extensive libraries of viral variants to assess their ability to bind with human cells and evade immune responses. Utilizing machine learning, Octavia generates maps identifying mutations with high ‘escape potential,’ thereby pinpointing the most concerning threats. This data informs the design of new vaccines and updates to existing ones, ensuring prolonged protection against worrisome variants.

The real-time variant insights provided by Octavia also aid public health experts in shaping proactive strategies against deadly diseases. By anticipating potential viral variants ‘a priori’—before their emergence—the platform significantly enhances global pandemic readiness, potentially shortening response times to outbreaks to as little as 100 days.

Dr. In-Kyu Yoon, Acting Executive Director of Vaccine R&D at CEPI, emphasized the critical need for preparedness in light of past pandemics, citing instances where rapidly emerging variants like Omicron posed significant challenges to medical defenses. He underscored the importance of shifting global focus towards preemptive preparedness to mitigate future vulnerabilities.

Dr. Lovisa Afzelius, Co-founder and CEO of Apriori, expressed gratitude for CEPI’s recognition and support in advancing their mission to protect humanity from evolving viral threats. With CEPI’s backing, Apriori plans to extend Octavia’s capabilities beyond coronavirus to address other viral challenges, enhancing global readiness to confront future outbreaks swiftly and effectively.

Octavia integrates computational insights with experimental biological data, including evolutionary analyses of viral strains to predict points of variability and assess potential mutation impacts. The new funding from CEPI will specifically target research on the pandemic influenza strain H3N2, previously affecting multiple species including pigs, birds, and humans.

The initiative is backed by CEPI’s newly established biosecurity department, aimed at reducing biosafety risks associated with research investments while accelerating responsible AI applications in vaccine development. Both CEPI and Apriori are committed to equitable access to project outcomes, aligning with CEPI’s Equitable Access Policy. They plan to publish project results and related data openly, facilitating global scientific collaboration and advancement in vaccine design.


This funding and support from CEPI underscore Apriori Bio’s pivotal role in advancing AI-driven solutions for viral threat mitigation. By enhancing the Octavia platform’s capabilities to predict and counteract evolving viral variants, Apriori Bio not only strengthens its position in the biotechnology sector but also contributes significantly to global health security. This initiative marks a proactive step towards preemptive pandemic preparedness, potentially reshaping how vaccines are developed and deployed in response to future infectious disease outbreaks.