Synthego Raises $100 Million to Accelerate CRISPR Platform Scale-up in Response to Growing Demand
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthego, the genome engineering company, today announced that it raised $100 million in a Series D financing led by new investor Wellington Management, co-led by RA Capital Management and 8VC. Additional investors that participated included Founders Fund, Menlo Ventures, and Intel Capital. This new round brings Synthego's total private funding to more than $250 million. The company also recently appointed biopharma and technology industry veterans Robert (Bob) Deans, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer, and John Tan, M.B.A., as Chief Operating Officer.
"Working with dozens of world-class academic institutions and top Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical companies that have contributed to our progress in transforming the life sciences, we are pleased to have such strong investor support as we continue to execute on our vision and platform technologies, which enable scientists to rapidly discover and develop new therapies for serious diseases," said Paul Dabrowski, CEO and Co-Founder of Synthego. "At this inflection point in the company's growth, we are also excited to welcome Bob and John to our leadership team. Their experience aligns perfectly with our direction and will be invaluable as we scale our efforts to accelerate the entire continuum of life sciences innovation."
Synthego will use the proceeds from the financing to expand the capabilities of its proprietary platforms. These platforms are designed to produce standardized CRISPR reagents and engineered cells to enable more rapid and precise discovery, validation and genetic pathway analysis that scientists use to conduct basic research, target identification and clinical trials.
"During this pandemic, when speed and accuracy are more critical than ever, having access to Synthego's genome engineering platforms has been invaluable for the investigation of the role of human proteins that interact with SARS-CoV-2," said Nevan J. Krogan, Ph.D., a professor and Director at the Quantitative Biosciences Institute in the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, and Senior Investigator at Gladstone Institutes. "Our research has revealed targets for drug repurposing to fight COVID-19, as described in our recent Nature publication."
Executive Team Hires
Robert Deans, Ph.D., brings more than 25 years of experience developing stem cell and gene therapies, as well as translational science and global regulatory expertise to Synthego, where he will serve as Chief Scientific Officer. With previous executive roles at BlueRock Therapeutics and Rubius Therapeutics, Deans' experience includes the creation of next-generation therapies by harnessing pluripotent stem cell biology and gene editing tools. Deans has been influential in standardizing stem and progenitor cell practices during his participation in several stem cell and therapeutic societies, including serving on multiple committees at the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).
John Tan, M.B.A., joining Synthego as Chief Operating Officer, brings decades of global operations and automation expertise across technology and life sciences companies, including Amazon and Thermo Fisher Scientific. During his tenure at Amazon, Tan was responsible for engineering design and capital procurement at a multi-billion-dollar group for Amazon's worldwide fulfillment centers, transportation logistics and automation and robotics capabilities. Before Amazon, Tan led global operations at Thermo Fisher where he managed global planning, quality, regulatory, procurement, supply chain and continuous improvement functions across more than 20 sites located in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
"Our portfolio companies that use Synthego love the results," said Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, RA Capital's board representative for Synthego. "Synthego's futuristic robotics and bioinformatics platforms scale genome engineering to catalyze unprecedented new medicines, from discovery through the clinic. RA Capital is thrilled to co-lead this Series D and accelerate Synthego's exponential growth."
Synthego is a genome engineering company that enables the acceleration of life science research and development in the pursuit of improved human health. The company leverages machine learning, automation and gene editing to build platforms for science at scale. With its foundations in engineering disciplines, the company's full-stack platform vertically integrates proprietary hardware, software, bioinformatics, chemistry and molecular biology to advance both basic research and therapeutic development. By providing both commercial and academic researchers and therapeutic developers with unprecedented access to cutting-edge genome engineering products and services, Synthego is at the forefront of innovation in engineered biology.
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