DNA Script announced today it has been awarded $2.7M in non-dilutive financing from the “Concours d’Innovation” program of Bpifrance. DNA Script was awarded this financing, to be received as subsidies and refundable advances, based on the promise of the company’s innovative enzymatic DNA synthesis technology and on the company’s potential to become a global leader in biomanufacturing for cell and gene therapy.
As the field of genomics accelerates, innovative genome editing technologies are driving advancements in life sciences research. The market for synthetic nucleic acids has expanded to over $1 billion per year globally, but the demand is not always met. For the past 50 years, synthetic DNA has been manufactured through a complex chemical process with limitations in terms of quality, turn-around time and manufacturing flexibility. In contrast, DNA Script introduces a novel biochemical process for DNA and RNA synthesis based on the use of highly efficient enzymes. This technology mimics the way nature produces genetic code and enables enhanced performance while minimizing the use of harsh chemicals. It will in particular enable the production of long DNA constructs, which are a key component of cell and gene therapy drugs.
“In the past few years, cell and gene therapy, as well as gene editing approaches, have showed promising results in the clinic. However, manufacturing such drugs is often a challenge. There is an unmet need for high quality, quickly manufactured synthetic DNA. Through this new financing, BPIFrance will enable the company to further demonstrate the potential of the technology for manufacturing long DNA constructs at scale.” said Thomas Ybert, PhD, CEO and co-founder of DNA Script.
“We are proud to support DNA Script in the development of this technology. This young French company has everything it needs to become a world leader in this extremely promising field,” said Virginie Fontaine from Bpifrance.
DNA Script is one of eight companies to receive an award for the “Concours d’Innovation 2018” of Bpifrance in the “Healthcare” division. This competitive grant is dedicated to innovative projects aimed at accelerating the emergence of companies with the potential to become world leaders in their respective markets.
Ybert added: “We see our project to set a gold standard for efficient, clean DNA synthesis as a great example of several high-value applications which will benefit from DNA Script’s core platform technology in the coming years.”
To date, DNA Script has raised a total of $27M. In September 2017, DNA Script announced a Series A financing round of $13 million led by Illumina Ventures, with additional investments from M Ventures — the corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany — and existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Kurma Partners and Idinvest Partners.
This project received the support of Medicen Paris Region.