11.8 C
New York
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Home Trends Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund leads $110 million investment in genetic engineering startup...

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund leads $110 million investment in genetic engineering startup Synthego

Genome engineering company Synthego has raised $110 million in a series C round of funding led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, with participation from 8VC and Menlo Ventures.

Founded in 2012 by brothers and former SpaceX design and engineering staff Paul and Michael Dabrowski, Synthego is setting out to accelerate CRISPR research, a genome engineering technique that could help cure genetic diseases … or even bring back woolly mammoths from extinction.


The mechanism behind CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, occurs naturally in organisms when bacteria protect themselves from viruses by stealing parts of the viral DNA to mix with their own to create new genetic sequences that can prevent future invasions.

Scientists effectively harnessed the CRISPR process and transformed it into a gene-editing tool, allowing them to replace, remove, or add to any DNA sequence within a genome. Thus, flawed and disease-prone genes can be altered.

But getting to that point still requires a lot of R&D spade work, which is where Synthego comes into play. The Redwood City-based company essentially builds the foundation for making the R&D and validation process easier for scientists. Using automation, machine learning, and bioinformatics, its platform serves up access to “engineered cells with guaranteed edits in their desired target,” according to a statement issued by the company.

Through its Engineered Cells product, researchers can order a cell modified with CRISPR – this means that the specific gene that they wish to experiment with is dispatched to their lab pre-edited within weeks. In real terms, it helps researchers optimize time and resources they expend on gene therapy experiments, and they can get to work much quicker.

“Our vision is a future where cell and gene therapies are ultimately as accessible as vaccines, so that everyone can benefit from next-generation cures,” Synthego cofounder and CEO Paul Dabrowski said. “Synthego will continue to innovate to help researchers redefine the boundaries of transformative medicines.”

Prior to now, Synthego had raised around $50 million in funding, and with another chunk of cash in the bank, it said that it plans to expand its platform and work toward expediting gene therapy experiments and ultimately decreasing the cost of gene therapy.

Live forever

That Founders Fund is leading this round is notable, and not entirely surprising. Peter Thiel, among a number of other Silicon Valley heavyweights, has been investing in biotechnology breakthroughs for some time with the ultimate aim of slowing — or even halting — the aging process. Thiel founded Breakout Labs back in 2012 for the sole purpose of providing grants to very early-stage speculative scientific research, for example, and Synthego’s raison d’être fits that broader mission.

“CRISPR may prove to be the most important scientific breakthrough of the last decade, but we must develop valuable, non-obvious applications to fulfill its potential,” Thiel said. “Synthego’s platform is already enabling new genomic research and pharmaceutical development and will ultimately unlock the full potential of genome engineering.”

Source: VentureBeat

To Read Our Daily News Updates, Please Visit Inventiva Or Subscribe Our Newsletter & Push.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Govt Permits Taxi Aggregators Like Ola, Uber To Charge Drivers 20% Commission Of Total Fare

Taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola will draw an expense of 20% of the base admission, the vehicle service said in a bunch of...

North Delhi ground becomes epicentre of farmers’ protest

Hundreds of farmers entered the national capital on Friday to hold peaceful protest at a north Delhi ground after facing tear gas and water...

Why Is NEET Pressurizing Students?

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) is an entrance examination for Indian students who wish to pursue MBBS or BDS courses at either government...

Astrazeneca Believes the World Will Focus On Its Positive Inoculation News

Right when the British-Swedish drug-maker AstraZeneca pronounced on Monday that its exploratory COVID-19 neutralizer is 70% convincing all around, the world inhaled out a...

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: