Camena Bioscience closes $10m Series A financing as demand for DNA synthesis technology increases
Cambridge, UK, 03 July 2023: Camena Bioscience, a synthetic biology company providing genes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, today announced it has closed a $10m Series A financing round, led by Mercia. The new funding will be used to scale operations and continue development of its pioneering DNA synthesis platform, gSynth™.
Camena 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.
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 remains problematic, particularly when creating long or complex sequences of genes. Camena’s technology overcomes these limitations by using a wholly novel enzymatic technology to accurately produce synthetic DNA.
Camena’s CEO and co-founder is 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.
Steve Harvey, CEO, 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.
“As the focus on sustainability and supply-chain security become more acute, Camena is leading the way with a green synthesis technology and is already well positioned to serve this burgeoning market. The invention of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies transformed our ability to “read” DNA. Our goal is to enable our customers to “write” DNA with the same confidence and ease.”
Lee Lindley, a member of Mercia’s investment team, has joined Camena’s Board as part of the financing. Lee has nearly 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.
Additionally, 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.
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.”
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About Camena Bioscience
Camena Bioscience is a synthetic biology company with novel DNA synthesis technology. Built on over 7 years of innovation and with deep insight to the challenges faced in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, their pioneering platform gSynth™ is rewriting the possibilities of DNA synthesis by unlocking access to genes with unparalleled accuracy and speed. Over 300 bp gSynth™ produces DNA to 90% accuracy, whereas the existing phosphoramidite DNA synthesis technology is just ~30% accurate and produces significant organic solvent waste. Camena offers an unmatched solution to gene production that simplifies complex supply-chains and minimises environmental impact.
Camena Bioscience is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
Mercia is a proactive venture capital investor with c. £1.4 billion of assets under management and has invested in a portfolio of over 400 start-ups from pre-seed to Series B and beyond. Mercia has nine offices in the UK and over 60 investment professionals, all drawing on their experiences as founders, PhD scientists, software engineers, corporate financiers and management consultants to help partner companies successfully achieve their ambitions.