DNA Script today announced awards totaling $5.5M in non-dilutive financing from the highly selective Horizon 2020 European Innovation Council program of the European Commission and the Aide au développement de l’innovation and Concours Mondial d’innovation programs 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 the company’s potential to become a global leader in DNA and RNA manufacturing.
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.
“The team at DNA Script is extremely proud of this support from the European institutions and the French government through Bpifrance, which will aid in our goal of becoming a global leader in synthetic DNA manufacturing”, said Thomas Ybert, PhD, CEO and co-founder of DNA Script. “We are excited about recent breakthroughs we have made with our technology platform, and these additional resources will allow us to further accelerate the development of the company.”
“Through these funding packages, Bpifrance fulfills its mission of helping young and promising companies like DNA Script develop their technology in order to conquer new markets,” said Adeline Kempf from Bpifrance. “We see in DNA Script a unique opportunity to create a new European leader in the life sciences — proof that the excellence of French research can be translated into commercial success.”
DNA Script is one of 57 companies to receive the very first award for small and medium-sized businesses given by the recently established European Innovation Council — a funding, advisory and networking arm of Horizon 2020 intended to support leading innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever created, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014–2020). DNA Script was chosen for this award by a jury of innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists after a competitive review process.
To date, DNA Script has raised a total of $24M. In September 2017, DNA Script announced Series A financing 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.