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Synbio Company Replay Launches With $55M in Seed Funding

NEW YORK – Synthetic biology company Replay launched on Monday with $55 million in seed funding.

The round was led by KKR and Omx Ventures, with additional participation from Artis Ventures, Lansdowne Partners, Salt, DeciBio Ventures, and Axial.

Headquartered in San Diego and London, Replay said it aims to "solve the key challenges currently limiting clinical progress” in genomic medicine, “including the need for increased payload capacity and off-the-shelf cell therapies."

The company said it has several synergistic technology platforms, including a high payload capacity HSV platform, a hypoimmunogenic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform, a genome writing platform that enables "rapid, efficient, and low-cost synthesis of libraries of synthetic genes and big DNA," and an algorithm for optimizing protein functionality.

Replay said its corporate structure separates technology development from therapeutic product development within disease area-specific product companies. So far, the company has established four gene therapy product companies that aim to bring "big DNA treatments to diseases affecting the skin, eye, brain, and muscle." Replay said it has also created an enzyme writing product company that leverages machine learning and genome writing technology.

"In Replay, we have assembled a world-class team of entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and cutting-edge genomic medicine and synthetic biology technologies into a coherent structure that will enable us to address medicine's greatest challenges, including solid tumors and polygenic diseases," Adrian Woolfson, the company's executive chairman, president, and cofounder, said in a statement.

Replay’s other cofounders include David Knipe, a microbiology professor at Harvard Medical School; Ron Weiss, a professor of biological engineering at MIT; Lachlan MacKinnon, cofounder of Oxford Science Enterprises; and David Knipe, a virologist and HSV researcher.