DNA Script raises €11 million ($13 million) in series A financing led by Illumina Ventures to advance development of its DNA synthesis technology

The company can now synthesize oligos up to 280nt in length with a cycle efficiency of 99.4% — on DNA Script’s proprietary platform, molecular biology researchers will be able to go from design to results in hours rather than days.

South San Francisco, Calif. | September 12, 2017

Synthetic DNA manufacturer DNA Script has today announced a Series A fundraising of 11 million euros ($13 million) led by Illumina Ventures, with additional investment from Merck Ventures BV, the corporate venture arm of Merck KGaA, plus existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Kurma Partners, and Idinvest Partners.

DNA Script is an industry leader in the manufacture of de novo synthetic nucleic acids using proprietary enzymatic technology. This latest fundraising round will allow DNA Script to strengthen its unique enzymatic technology and nucleotide chemistry platform in order to manufacture high quality oligonucleotides faster and more affordably than current market standards.

As the field of genomics experiences rapid growth, new genome editing technologies are introduced, and research into life sciences is increasing steadily – the demand for synthetic nucleic acids has expanded, but 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.

“We are pleased to attract preeminent investors to our Series A round, which will allow us to further accelerate our R&D plan and technology scale-up,” stated Thomas Ybert, PhD, DNA Script Co-founder and CEO. “Our new process broadly enables new applications for synthetic DNA and RNA in drug discovery and development, industrial and food technologies, and DNA data storage. By applying high-quality oligo synthesis, we believe we can dramatically improve de novo nucleic acid synthesis performance compared to current technologies.”

Nick Naclerio, Founding Partner of Illumina Ventures and new board member at DNA Script, commented: “We are thrilled to support the team at DNA Script and to be joined by such a strong syndicate of investors. Advancements in DNA synthesis have not kept pace with progress in DNA sequencing and molecular biology. DNA Script has the potential to set a new standard for how DNA is made and accelerate the adoption of synthetic biology across diverse disciplines.”

Joško Bobanović and Philippe Peltier, respectively, at Sofinnova Partners and Kurma Partners, stated: “Since our initial involvement at the seed stage, DNA Script team has demonstrated an exceptional ability to accelerate its technical development, identify new markets and business models, and attract interest of major global players. With strong local community support and this international round of financing, DNA Script is well-positioned to reap benefits of this unique technology.”