Helix Nanotechnologies, otherwise known as HelixNano, is an American biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Helix Nanotechnologies was founded in 2013 by Finland-born Hannu Rajaniemi funded by “small angel checks from friends and family as well as grants to focus on cancer therapeutics.”1)

In 2017, the company was accepted into Y Combinator.2)

In 2019, HelixNano announced a grant from Schmidt Futures to pursue personalized cancer vaccines. With the grant, and in collaboration with the Hacohen Laboratory at the Broad Institute and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to use synthetic biology and machine learning to reduce the uncertainty of neoantigen design.3) The project also received support from Integrated DNA Technologies' Synthetic Biology Start-up Grant Program.


In March 2020, the company pivoted to focus entirely on developing a COVID-19 vaccine.4) According to co-founder and CEO Hannu Rajaniemi, an investor in the company told him that the pandemic “could be THE opportunity you needed” to demonstrate HelixNano's capabilities, and the company was “able to raise money from its 'extremely supportive' investors for the pivot in about about 24 hours.” Rajaniemi convinced his employees to support the pivot in part by “focusing on the broader benefit to society that a COVID-19 vaccine could provide.”

In January 2022, HelixNano received a $10 million investment from FTX's Future Fund to finance “preclinical and Phase 1 trials of a pan-variant COVID-19 vaccine.”5)



Name Position Notes
Hannu Rajaniemi Co-founder and CEO6) -
Nikolai Eroshenko Co-founder and CSO7) 8) -
Anna Babiarz Executive Assistant -
Nikhil Dhar RNA scientist -
Taylor Gill Molecular Engineering Lead -
Marianna Keaveney Lead Scientist -
Arianna López Research Associate -
Justin Quinn Scientist -
Everett Webster Research Associate -
Advisory Board9)
George Church Scientific Advisor Harvard Medical School
José Trevejo Clinical and Translational Advisor Cyclerion Therapeutics, Duke-NUS Medical School, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Visterra, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Genentech, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Harvard Medical School, Draper Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital10)
Carina Namih Co-founder, CEO (former), Commercial Advisor Alan Turing Institute, Episode 1 Ventures, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Y Combinator, Kauffman Fellows11)


1) , 4) , 7)
Clifford, C. (2020, April 24). What it’s like to invent a coronavirus vaccine in the middle of a pandemic. CNBC. https://archive.ph/cjMP2
2) , 13)
Helix Nanotechnologies: Using AI to cure genetic disease. Y Combinator. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from https://web.archive.org/web/20230102060849/https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/helix-nanotechnologies
Rajaniemi, H. (2019, February 7). HelixNano Announces Grant from Schmidt Futures to Pursue Personalized Cancer Vaccines. Medium. https://medium.com/@hannu_64912/helixnano-announces-grant-from-schmidt-futures-to-pursue-personalized-cancer-vaccines-323cbbd6bee0
Our Grants and Investments. Future Fund. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://web.archive.org/web/20220910082348/https://ftxfuturefund.org/our-grants/?_funding_stream=ad-hoc
Clifford, C. (2021, March 29). This biotech start-up is working overtime to develop a second-wave, mutation-resistant Covid-19 vaccine. CNBC. https://archive.ph/ZFsts
HelixNano - Contacts, Employees, Board Members, Advisors & Alumni. Crunchbase. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/helixnano/people
Home. HelixNano. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://web.archive.org/web/20230112221758/https://www.helixnano.com/
José Trevejo - Experience. LinkedIn. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.linkedin.com/in/josetrevejo/details/experience/
Carina Namih. LinkedIn. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://www.linkedin.com/in/carinamn/
HelixNano - Funding, Financials, Valuation & Investors. Crunchbase. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from https://web.archive.org/web/20230102031817/https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/helixnano/company_financials
Holm, A., Namachunskiy, R., Scherfner, E., Pettitt, K.-K., Jhaveri, N., D, T., Christiansen, J., Andrey, D., & Abhishek, G. HelixNano - Wiki. Golden. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from https://golden.com/wiki/HelixNano-MNYNZWN
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