Cambridge-based biotech startup Constructive Bio has raised $15 million in funding to create technology for producing synthetic genomes and reprogramming the genetic code of living organisms. This, in turn, will allow scientists to write entire genomes from scratch.
The new funding will drive the company’s commercial development and make its technology accessible to labs working on therapeutics and antibiotics, enhanced agriculture, manufacturing and materials and more. The seed round was led by Ahren alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, General Inception and OMX Ventures.
The startup aims to develop methods for reprogramming the genetic code of living organisms, rewriting the near-universal genetic code of natural life to create organisms that use new genetic codes. According to the company, the new organisms deliver remarkable properties. They are resistant to a wide variety of viruses, they can be programmed to make new unnatural, or synthetic, polymers, and even perform entirely new functions.
The company also holds an exclusive licence from the Medical Research Council to IP developed by the Chin Lab at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology based in Cambridge, UK.
Jason Chin, programme leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and chief scientific officer of Constructive Bio said: “Over the last 20 years, we have created a cellular factory that we can reliably and predictably program to create new polymers. The range of applications for this technology is vast - using our approach we have already been able to program cells to make new molecules including from an important class of drugs and to program cells to make completely synthetic polymers containing the chemical linkages found in biodegradable plastics. By taking inspiration from nature and reimagining what life can become we have the opportunity to build the sustainable industries of the future.”