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Gene Modification Company Transposagen Receives $4.3M in Grants, Investments

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Gene modification firm Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals said on Friday that it received $4.3 million in grants and investments to further develop its DNA modification technology.

The Lexington, Ky.-based firm said that it received a Small Business Innovation Research grant of almost $2.0 million from the National Institutes of Health's Office of the Director, and a $1.0 million grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

The company also raised more than $1.3 million in a Series A investment round, mostly from local angel investors, in accordance to a condition of the Kentucky CED award that Transposagen match the $1 million grant.

The SBIR funding is part of a grant originally awarded in 2011 by the now-defunct National Center for Research Resources, but which the company received only recently due to a delay resulting from "a request for more data from [NCRR's] Council," Transposagen CEO Eric Ostertag said in an e-mail to GenomeWeb Daily News.

The funding and investment will be used to support continued development of the piggyBac DNA Modification System, a genome modification tool for creating custom cell lines and rat and mouse models. Transposagen licenses the technology, which is jointly owned by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Florida, and the US Department of Agriculture.

Ostertag said in a statement that the funding is for the "creation of genetically modified rat models for studying human disease," although he pointed out that Transposagen also provides the technologies to researchers to create nearly any type of genetic modification in any model organism or cell line.

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