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London Tech Week

Cambridge-based Camena Bioscience secures $10M for its DNA synthesis platform

Camena Bioscience founders
Picture credits: Camena Bioscience

Synthetic genes are widely used by researchers to understand the mechanisms of disease, and in the drug discovery process to combat them. However, the cost, time, and accuracy of traditional DNA synthesis methods developed in the 1980s remain problematic, particularly when creating long or complex sequences of genes. 

Funding to boost scaleup

Cambridge-based Camena Bioscience is a synthetic biology company providing genes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company has just closed $10 million in Series A financing in a round led by Mercia that backed Enate

Camena Bioscience will use the funding to scale operations and continue the development of its pioneering DNA synthesis platform, gSynth™. 

Steve Harvey, CEO, Camena Bioscience, commented: “We are delighted to have closed this latest round of funding with Mercia, which provides further validation of Camena’s approach. The ability to read, write and manipulate DNA is the foundation of the synthetic biology value chain, yet developments in DNA synthesis have not kept pace with DNA sequencing and editing capabilities. Camena’s gSynth™ platform is revolutionising the DNA synthesis market by unlocking access to genes and accelerating discovery pipelines.

Appoints new Board members

In addition to the investment, Lee Lindley, a member of Mercia’s investment team, has joined Camena’s Board as part of the financing. With almost 10 years of corporate financing experience, he also holds a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Research Methods from the University of Manchester.

Lee Lindley, Investment Manager, Mercia, commented: “The market for synthetic genes is growing rapidly but much of the demand is for complex genes which are extremely difficult to produce accurately. Camena’s technology is a game changer that could unlock a much bigger global market.  We’re excited to support Camena on its next stage of growth.”

Besides Lee, Aditya Rajagopal has joined Camena’s Board. Aditya is the founder and CTO of ChromaCode, Inc., a commercial-stage diagnostics company focused on developing highly scalable and affordable cancer tests. He is also the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Esperto Medical, a venture-backed company building non-invasive vital sign monitors.

One-of-its-kind enzyme-based DNA synthesis tech

Camena Bioscience was founded by Steve Harvey, PhD, a leader in genomics research, and the CSO and co-founder is Derek Stemple, PhD, a world-renowned molecular biologist and previously a co-founder of TwistDX which was acquired by Alere (now a part of Abbott) in 2010. 

It is the first company to offer this unique and highly accurate enzyme-based DNA synthesis technology. It has already signed commercial agreements with leading consumers of synthetic genes, securing a multi-million-pound revenue stream over the previous year. Its technology overcomes these limitations by using a wholly novel enzymatic technology to accurately produce synthetic DNA. 

Its pioneering platform gSynth™ is rewriting the possibilities of DNA synthesis by unlocking access to genes with unparalleled accuracy and speed. It produces DNA with 90% accuracy, whereas the existing phosphoramidite DNA synthesis technology is just nearly 30% accurate and produces significant organic solvent waste. 

Notably, Camena Bioscience offers an unmatched solution to gene production that simplifies complex supply chains and minimises environmental impact.

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