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Broken String Biosciences Closes $15M Series A Financing Round

NEW YORK – Broken String Biosciences, a startup building tools for analyzing breaks in DNA, said on Monday that it has closed a $15 million Series A financing round.

Illumina Ventures and Mérieux Equity Partners led the round, joined by Heran Partners, Tencent, and Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures.

The Cambridge, UK-based firm said it would use the funding to develop and commercialize Induce-seq, its next-generation sequencing-based technology for DNA break mapping. Broken String also seeks to expand its capabilities beyond gene editing, add to its UK-based team, and establish an office in the US.

"The clinical progression of cell and gene therapies is held back by off-target safety concerns," Arnaud Autret, principal at Illumina Ventures, said in a statement. "We recognize the power of Broken String Biosciences' technology to drive advances in safer genome editing, genome biology and genetic toxicology, and optimize drug development programs. The platform has the potential to become the gold standard solution for measuring off-target gene editing."

Spun out of Cardiff University in 2020, Broken String went through the Illumina Accelerator program in 2021. It raised £3 million ($3.7 million) in seed funding in September 2021.

"Operating at the intersection of biology, bioinformatics, and data science, our Induce-seq platform offers an unbiased, end-to-end solution that expedites the measurement and assessment of off-target gene editing during therapeutic development," Broken String CEO Felix Dobbs said in a statement. "This provides essential information required to progress therapeutic programs that leverage gene editing and mitigate potential risks that can result in later-stage clinical failures."