Synthego, the genome engineering company, today announced it has raised $200 million of growth capital, including a Series E financing led by Perceptive Advisors. Also participating in the round were new investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Declaration Partners, Laurion Capital Management, Logos Capital, GigaFund and Chimera Abu Dhabi and existing investors Wellington Management, RA Capital Management and Moore Strategic Ventures. The company also recently appointed Avi Raval as chief financial officer.
“CRISPR has become a powerful discovery tool, and the field is now at an inflection point. The promise of translating insights into clinical applications to treat a myriad of serious diseases, including cancer and genetic disorders, is within reach. With Synthego’s full stack of proprietary platforms, clinical-grade manufacturing capabilities, and strong relationships in industry, academia and the investor community, we are well positioned to help our customers usher in this new era of genetic and cellular medicines, ultimately ensuring these therapies are accessible to all patients,” said Paul Dabrowski, co-founder and CEO of Synthego.
Synthego will use the proceeds from the Series E financing to accelerate the creation of a cell and gene therapy discovery and development ecosystem to help researchers scale and simplify the translation of new discoveries into novel therapeutics for serious diseases. Specifically, Synthego plans to expand both the capacity and capabilities of its Halo and Eclipse Platforms for research and discovery applications, continuing to drive broad accessibility of genome engineering tools and genome engineered cells. Synthego will also invest in next-generation technologies such as CRISPROff, a light-based system for specific and precise CRISPR editing, and increase its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing capabilities to support its customers’ clinical and therapeutic programs.
The development of next-generation CRISPR-based cellular and genetic medicines requires the ability to rapidly discover new biology, deploy advanced bioinformatics, optimize and perform precision genome editing, and seamlessly translate from research into clinical settings. Synthego’s vertically integrated approach, with continued investments in extensive genome engineering capacity, machine learning-based optimizations, proprietary high throughput manufacturing hardware and software, and an expanding precision genome editing tool kit, is providing customers and partners with an increasingly comprehensive path to discovering, developing, optimizing and manufacturing novel CRISPR-based cell and gene therapies.
“Synthego is uniquely positioned at the intersection of engineering and discovery science,” said Sam Chawla, portfolio manager of Perceptive Advisors. “We could not be more excited to be partnering with the company at this important inflection point in its evolution.”“CRISPR-based genome engineering is rapidly transforming the landscape of discovery biology and ushering in a new era of cellular and genetic medicines that have enormous potential,” said Mike Altman, managing director of Perceptive Advisors. “Given Synthego’s success in scaling and optimizing genome engineering technologies, and standardizing quality and efficacy for both discovery and clinical applications, it is a key player in this remarkable field, and we are excited to support the team.”
The importance and potential of accelerating scientific discovery and development through new technologies has been demonstrated during the past year. Synthego brought together more than 12,000 CRISPR researchers at the largest annual global CRISPR conference, leveraged its Eclipse Platform to rapidly accelerate critical programs in COVID-19 research and neurodegenerative diseases, and is enabling the rapid translation of CRISPR-based cell and gene therapies into the clinic through the ISO 9001 certification of its GMP manufacturing capabilities.
Appointment of Avi Raval as Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Raval has more than 20 years of financial and strategic experience. Prior to joining Synthego, he was a managing director and founding member of the health care group at Perella Weinberg Partners. During his tenure, he advised health care companies on a wide variety of public and private financings, strategic matters and mergers and acquisitions, and served as chief operating officer for the firm’s advisory business. Mr. Raval spent the first seven years of his investment banking career at J.P. Morgan. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
“I am honored and excited to join the Synthego team,” said Mr. Raval. “In my many years of experience, I’ve seen few companies with Synthego’s potential to transform the way new medicines are discovered and delivered. I look forward to contributing to our team’s strategic and financing initiatives to accelerate the development and commercialization of products that enable genome engineering at an unprecedented scale and speed.”
Cowen served as sole placement agent to Synthego for the private placement.