Camena Bioscience, a synthetic biology company that provides genes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round, led by Mercia.
The new funding will be used to scale operations and continue development of the DNA synthesis platform, gSynth.
Camena Bioscience is the first company to offer enzyme-based DNA synthesis technology. It had entered into commercial agreements with leading synthetic gene consumers, securing a multi-million pound revenue stream over the previous year.
Synthetic genes are widely used by researchers to understand disease mechanisms, and in the process of finding drugs to fight them. However, cost, time, and accuracy of traditional DNA synthesis methods developed in the 1980s remain problematic, especially when creating long or complex gene sequences. Camena Bioscience’s technology overcomes this limitation by using new enzymatic technologies to accurately generate synthetic DNA.
The CEO and co-founder of Camena Bioscience is genomics researcher Steve Harvey. The CSO and co-founder is Derek Stemple, a molecular biologist and formerly co-founder of TwistDX which was acquired by Alere (now part of Abbott) in 2010.
Harvey said: “We are pleased to have closed the latest round of funding with Mercia, which provides further validation of Camena’s approach. The ability to read, write, and manipulate DNA is the foundation of the synthetic biology value chain, but developments in DNA synthesis have not kept pace with the ability to sequence and edit DNA. Camena’s gSynth platform is revolutionizing the DNA synthesis market by opening access to genes and accelerating the discovery pipeline.
“As the focus on supply chain sustainability and security becomes more acute, Camena is leading the way with green synthesis technologies and is already well positioned to serve this emerging market. The discovery of the next generation of DNA sequencing technology is changing our ability to “read” DNA. Our goal is to enable our customers to “write” DNA with the same confidence and ease.”
Check out some of the other synthetic biology companies currently making a mark with their work here.