A Cambridge-based biotech startup Constructive bio raised $15 million in funding to create technology to produce synthetic genomes and reprogram the genetic code of living organisms. This, in turn, will allow scientists to write entire genomes from scratch.
The new funding will drive the company’s commercial development and make its technology available to laboratories working on therapeutics and antibiotics, improved agriculture, manufacturing and materials, and more. The starting round was led by Aren okay Amadeus Capital Partners, Common beginning and OMX Ventures.
The startup aims to develop methods to reprogram the genetic code of living organisms, rewriting the near-universal genetic code of natural life to create organisms that use new genetic codes. According to the company, the new organisms provide remarkable properties. They are resistant to a wide variety of viruses, can be programmed to produce new unnatural or synthetic polymers, and even perform entirely new functions.
The company also holds an exclusive license from the Medical Research Council for IP developed by Chin Lab at the Medical Research Council Molecular Biology Laboratory based in Cambridge, UK.
Jason Chin, Program Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Chief Scientific Officer of Constructive Bio said: “Over the past 20 years we have created a cellular factory that we can reliably and predictably program to create new polymers. The range of applications for this technology is vast – using our approach, we have already been able to program cells to produce new molecules, including an important class of drugs, and to program cells to produce fully synthetic polymers containing the chemical bonds found in biodegradable plastics. By drawing inspiration from nature and reimagining what life can become, we have the opportunity to build the sustainable industries of the future.”