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Ansa Biotechnologies Raises $7.9M in Seed Funding

NEW YORK – Ansa Biotechnologies said on Monday that it has raised $7.9 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round.

Horizon Ventures led the round, with participation from Mubadala Capital, Humboldt Fund, and additional investors.

Together with a pre-seed round in late December 2018 led by Fifty Years, Ansa has raised $9.2 million in total.

The latest funding will allow the company to accelerate development of its DNA synthesis technology, hire staff, build an R&D facility, and establish industrial partnerships.

Ansa's core technology, developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and published in 2018, is an enzyme-based DNA synthesis method that the firm says will be faster, cleaner, and more accurate than existing approaches.

The method, which Ansa is building into a DNA synthesis service, uses engineered template-independent polymerase, conjugated to a single nucleoside triphosphate molecule, to synthesize DNA one base at a time.

"We believe that faster and more accurate DNA synthesis is foundational to fueling innovation in both biotechnology and basic biological research," said CEO Daniel Arlow in a statement, adding that the company plans to make hires from industry and academia over the next several months.

"Currently, the ability to write DNA is the main bottleneck in the synthetic biology industry. By enabling faster, longer, and higher quality DNA synthesis with their fully enzymatic process, Ansa will help accelerate the entire synthetic biology industry," said Seth Bannon, founding partner at Fifty Years.

"Ansa's unique and versatile enzymatic approach promises to set the standard for DNA synthesis speed and accuracy," said Horizon Ventures' Patrick Zhang.