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Gene Editing Startup Tome Biosciences Launches With $213M in Financing

NEW YORK – Tome Biosciences, a new genome editing company, emerged from stealth on Tuesday and announced that it has raised $213 million between its Series A and B financing rounds.

Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Arch Venture Partners, GV, Longwood Fund, Polaris Partners, Bruker, Fujifilm, and Alexandria Venture Investments, among others.

The firm has licensed CRISPR-based genome editing technology developed by Cofounders Omar Abudayyeh and Jonathan Gootenberg, both formerly of MIT's McGovern Institute. In a statement, Tome said it will begin by developing gene therapies for monogenic liver diseases and cell therapies for autoimmune diseases.

Tome's technology "represents the maturation of editing technologies, breaking current barriers in genomic medicines discovery," CEO Rahul Kakkar said in a statement. "We can finally reprogram the human genome with an elegance and efficiency previously unimaginable. For patients with rare monogenic diseases, [Tome's technology] allows for potentially curative treatments with a single drug per disease regardless of genetic heterogeneity, and for patients with more common disorders, PGI allows for the creation of cell therapies at the speed of biologics discovery with a complexity that enables the potential for broad use across human medicine."

Incorporated in February 2021, Tome said it has secured exclusive license to Abudayyeh and Gootenberg's programmable addition via site-specific targeting elements (PASTE) CRISPR technology. In a 2022 paper, they showed that PASTE can insert sequences as large as 36 Kb without inducing double-strand breaks. Tome's license includes rights to US Patent Nos. 11,572,556; 11,827,881; and 11,834,658, all titled "Systems, methods, and compositions for site-specific genetic engineering using PASTE."

The firm has also added John Finn, formerly of Intellia Therapeutics, as CSO and Matt Barrows, who led the scale-up for Moderna's COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, as chief technology officer. Abudayyeh and Gootenberg are now both on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

"The ability to control where we insert DNA sequences is a game-changer," Finn said in a statement. "It means the field can now move away from random integration and utilize any natural promoter in the human genome, enabling us to orchestrate the tissue location, timing, and amount of gene expression."