UK synthetic biology company Evonetix raised €27M in Series B funding to develop its fast DNA synthesis technology and produce a working prototype of the company’s desktop platform.
New investor Foresite Capital, a US-based VC firm, led the round, although all the company’s earlier Series A investors, such as the tech-focused VC’s Draper Esprit and Data Collective, also contributed.
Founded in 2015, Cambridge-based Evonetix is currently developing its rapid synthesis ‘DNA on a chip’ technology, which will allow DNA to be made simultaneously at many different points on a silicon chip via specialized electronic programming.
“To achieve its full potential, synthetic biology will require the continued development and convergence of its underlying skills and disciplines, to enable the rational and predictable design of biological systems,” Stephanie Brooking, Head of Product Management at Evonetix, told me.
“Fundamental to its success will be the capability to synthesize genes rapidly, at scale and with high accuracy, and to regulate and edit genes to create desirable phenotypes.”
The company believes its technique will allow DNA to be produced more quickly and accurately than with current approaches. “This Series B round will enable us to accelerate the development of our first product, which we will take into beta test in 2021,” explained Brooking.
Once developed, Evonetix believes its desktop platform will be used across the biotech industry in healthcare, food, agriculture, and data storage applications. It is not the only company aiming to exploit the need for fast, reliable DNA synthesis. Austrian biotech Ribbon Biolabs is using DNA-synthesizing enzymes to produce long DNA molecules, something that has proved difficult to date.
French firm DNA Script is also producing a desktop DNA synthesis technology and raised its own Series B to support this last year. It recently announced it is working with the US Government on a project to develop a method of securely storing data using DNA.
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