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Wyss Institute Spinout ReadCoor Raises $23M, Plans to Offer In Situ RNA Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has spun out a company called ReadCoor in order to commercialize its fluorescent in situ RNA sequencing technology, FISSEQ. ReadCoor, which also raised $23 million in a recent Series A financing round, has licensed the technology and exclusive marketing rights for FISSEQ from Harvard.

The financing round was led by Decheng Capital, and included Lilly Asia Ventures, Vivo Capital, and Hansjörg Wyss. The proceeds will be used to support development and commercialization of the FISSEQ platform. Decheng partner Victor Tong and Vivo partner Yuh-geng Tsay will join ReadCoor's board of directors.

FISSEQ — a technology that was developed in ReadCoor cofounder and Harvard genetics professor George Church's lab at Wyss — simultaneously sequences RNAs and visualizes them within cells and tissues in 3D. In a project funded by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the technology is being used by a Wyss-led consortium to map neurons, discover the brain's learning patterns, and understand synapse design and connections.

"We are opening the door to a truly 'pan-omic' view of all biological molecules and interactions within cells and tissues, powering numerous research discoveries and clinical applications," Church, who will serve as chairman of ReadCoor's scientific advisory board, said in a statement.

Richard Terry, also a cofounder of ReadCoor and lead senior scientist at Wyss, added that ReadCoor's FISSEQ services would be particularly useful to neurology, cancer, and genetics researchers by providing them with "3D coordinates of working genes that will inform their work in new ways." Terry will also serve as president and chief technology officer of ReadCoor.

FISSEQ will have applications in drug development, pathogen identification, disease diagnostics, regenerative medicine, immuno-oncology, gene therapy, brain diseases, and neurology, ReadCoor said.