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Synthego Raises $110M in Series C Funding Round

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Synthego announced today that it has raised $110 million in a Series C financing round.

The round was led by Founders Fund with additional investment from existing investors 8VC and Menlo Ventures. The company raised $41 million in a Series B round in January 2017 and $8.3 million in a Series A funding round when it launched in August 2016, bringing its total funding to date to about $160 million.

With this new financing, Synthego said it will continue marketing its Engineered Cells and CRISPRevolution product lines, will further expand into Europe and Asia, and will continue extending its full stack genome engineering platform.

The Engineered Cells portfolio, which was launched this past June, consists of Synthego's Knockout Clone and Pool and Advanced Cells products. The Knockout Cell Pools provide researchers the ability to purchase engineered cell populations with a knockout frequency of 50 percent or greater. Knockout Cell Clones are engineered cell clones with genes of interest already knocked out. And Advanced Cells can be designed to include knock-ins (protein modifications, protein tagging, transgene insertions) and are marketed for researchers looking to edit complex primary cells and stem cells.

CRISPRevolution is a line of chemically modified synthetic single guide RNAs for CRISPR genome editing that provide protection against intracellular immune responses in primary and stem cells and against exonuclease attack in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The sgRNAs are synthesized with 2'-O-methyl analogs and 3' phosphorothioate internucleotide linkages in the first three nucleotides at both the 5' and 3' end of the RNA molecule. In October 2017, the company signed a deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific to market and sell its synthetic guide RNA products under a Thermo Fisher brand.

And the company's full stack genome engineering platform uses automation, bioinformatics, and machine learning to develop and manufacture CRISPR products at scale, and with consistency and reproducibility, Synthego said.

"This new funding allows us to expand our reach and build out our full stack platform capabilities at a perfect time. Biological medicines are on the cusp of a revolution with the coming curative cell and gene therapies, and we are proud to support this industry," Synthego Cofounder and CEO Paul Dabrowski said in a statement. "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 will continue to innovate to help researchers redefine the boundaries of transformative medicines."

Synthego also said that Stanford University professor and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital physician Matthew Porteus will join the company's advisory board. Porteus, who is also a scientific cofounder of CRISPR Therapeutics, will join Optum CEO Andrew Witty and Jennifer Doudna on the advisory board.

"The engineering background [Synthego] brings to the field means that they have developed solutions to problems that biologists and geneticists might not have come up with. They have been highly collaborative in their work and the work in my research program is substantially farther along because of that collaboration than it would have been otherwise," Porteus added.

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