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About Camena

Camena Bioscience is a synthetic biology company  born out of ideas from Cambridge and Pasadena.

Our mission is to be the leading provider of synthetic DNA.

People discussing topics at Camena Bioscience Synthetic gene production at Camena petri-dish micropipette-woman

25 employees

Expanding team supported by industry leading advisors and Board of Directors.

Cambridge, UK

Laboratories and business operations headquartered in Cambridge.

Global customer base

The world's leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Our story

From humble beginnings, careful derisking of science enabled a breakthrough. Our focus on commercially directed innovation has developed an IP-rich portfolio and future technology roadmap.
  • 2016

    Camena is incorporated and Cambridge labs are opened.

  • 2017

    Camena files first DNA synthesis patent applications.

  • 2019

    gSynth® enzymatic technology breakthrough, demonstrating increased synthesis accuracy and ability to produce long, complex, DNA sequences.

  • 2021

    Camena expands, building first gene synthesis production lab in Cambridge. Begins sales of complex, multi-gene sequences to big pharma and synbio companies.

  • 2022

    Camena secures a major contract with strategic gene synthesis consumer.

  • 2023

    Rapid growth due to increasing demand from strategic customers.

    Camena closes a $10m A-round of financing.

  • 2024

    Scale-up via automation programme, achieving technical milestones of multi-kb throughput per day


Third wave of innovation

The invention of next-generation sequencing transformed our ability to read DNA, and CRISPR-Cas gene editing simplified our ability to edit it.

An ambitious vision was formed to enable researchers to write DNA with the same confidence and ease with which they can read and edit it.  

The gSynth® platform brings a new era of DNA synthesis. 


Meet the team

  • Steve
    Steve CEO & Co-founder Steve has a background in life sciences technology development, has authored publications in leading scientific journals, and developed patented DNA synthesis technology. He obtained his PhD from University College London, while at the National Institue for Medical Research.
  • Derek
    Derek CSO & Co-founder Derek is a world renowned molecular biologist, with over 100 scientific publications and 20 patents. He has a PhD from the California Institute of Technology. In 1999 Derek co-founded TwistDX, which was acquired by Alere and is now an active subsidiary of Abbott.
  • Nicola
    Nicola Chair of the Board Nicola was the founding CEO of Amphista Therapeutics and successfully steered the company through Series A and a $53M Series B round. She has closed Pharma collaborative deals with a value of ~$2.25Bn. She was also Chair of the Board of Nanna Therapeutics.
  • James R
    James R VP, R&D James started his career in short oligonucleotide synthesis and point-of-care diagnostic assays following a PhD. in DNA Chemistry from the University of Southampton. He then went on to spend the next ten years developing next-generation sequencing technologies, spanning multiple product launches and large-scale sequencing initiatives.
  • Elaine
    Elaine VP, Chief of Staff Elaine has executive experience at AIM and NASDAQ listed biotechs. She was formerly Business Unit Head at Horizon Discovery (now Revvity) and Head of eCommerce at Abcam. She transitioned both through significant growth, organic and acquired. Elaine has worked as a business consultant and CMO, and has an MBA from Warwick Business School.
  • Nagesh
    Nagesh Board member Nagesh is a distinguished biotechnology entrepreneur. He was the founding CEO of Scholar Rock Inc., taking the company to a successful IPO. Prior to that he was a founding employee of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and co-founded TwistDx. Nagesh has a PhD from the California Institute of Technology.
  • liz
    Liz Head of People Liz is a strategic HR Director with over 25 years of experience leading teams in the UK, Europe and Emerging Markets. She was previously HR Director for Danaher Corporation, AspenTech Inc., and Novartis. She now works as a consultant, providing support to Chief Execs and Board members.
  • james_a
    James Allen Principal Software Engineer James is a bioinformatician with broad experience in database design, pipeline development, and mathematical modeling. He worked on the Ensembl project at EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute), and at Cambridge University. He has a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Manchester.
  • Lee-L-teal - edited
    Lee Board member Lee is a Venture Capital Investor at Mercia Ventures, focusing on the Life Science and DeepTech sectors. Before Mercia Lee spent seven years working in Corporate Finance and M&A at PwC, where he advised on multiple £100m+ growth equity raises. Lee holds a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Research Methods from the University of Manchester.
  • Ellecia
    Ellecia Senior Scientist Ellecia gained a first in Natural Sciences from Lancaster University and has extensive experience of high-throughput, clinical laboratories. Previously, Ellecia played a key role in delivering next-generation Sequencing to assist with the diagnoses and treatment of patients.
  • Aditja-min
    Aditya Board member Aditya is an experienced biotechnology inventor and executive. He is the Founder, CTO, and Board Director at ChromaCode, Inc. and also co-founder and Executive Chairman of Esperto Medical. He is faculty at USC and Caltech, and has a BS, MS and PhD qualifications from the California Institute of Technology.
  • Claudia
    Claudia Software Engineer Claudia graduated from the University of East Anglia with a MSc in Computing Sciences. Previously, she studied immunology before developing an interest in programming and bridging the gap between biology and technology.
  • scott
    Scott Scientific Advisor Scott is a world expert in biophysics and imaging. He is currently the University of Southern California Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Convergent Bioscience, and Vice President of Science Grant Programs at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He was a co-founder of Clinical Micro Sensors and has been an advisor to numerous companies including Amersham, GE Health and Zeiss Micro Imaging.
  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Office Manager An experienced Office Manager with a background in fast-paced start-up environments, Charlotte has proven success in improving organisational efficiency and maintaining day-to-day business operations.
  • Marina picture website - edited-min-1
    Marina Board Observer Marina Fuentes is a Venture Capital Investor at Mercia Ventures, with a focus in Life Sciences and Deep Tech sectors. Marina has a background in science commercialisation and venture creation after spending 4 years in technology transfer at UCL and Oxford University. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from Nottingham University.
  • simon
    Simon Research Associate Prior to joining Camena Simon worked in emergency healthcare for 12 years, including at Addenbrookes CUH biochemistry lab. Simon completed his BSc in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University.
  • rachel
    Rachel Scientist Rachel joined the Camena team in 2023 after 11 years in DMPK, in a high-throughput drug discovery laboratory. Rachel's scientific career began via an apprenticeship, initially studying towards a BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science and upon its successful completion, a BTEC Level 4 HNC in Biological Science for Industry.
  • ruby
    Ruby Principal Scientist Ruby is an experienced biotechnologist with a PhD in Immunology. She specialises in upstream process development and is especially skilled in process analytical technologies and the operation of perfusion techniques.
  • Doxi
    Doxi Senior Scientist Doxi obtained her PhD. from the University of Southampton, specialising in the synthesis, bioconjugation and applications of nanoparticles. She joined the biotech industry working towards the research and development of next-generation sequencing technologies.
  • nadin
    Nadin Principal Scientist Nadin joined the team in 2021. She initially trained as an infectious disease biologist and subsequently completed her PhD in neuro-parasitology from Lancaster University. Nadin is an author on several peer reviewed publications.
  • jackson
    Jackson Research Associate Originally from California, Jackson has returned to the UK where he previously obtained a MSc in Synthetic Biology from the University of Edinburgh.
  • maria
    Maria Principal Scientist Maria started her career as a molecular biologist and completed her PhD in Biomedicine from Aarhus University in Denmark. She moved to Cambridge to continue her postdoctoral career, developing next-generation sequencing technologies for single-cell immune profiling and antibody discovery campaigns.
  • Corinne
    Corinne Senior Scientist Corinne trained as a molecular biologist and completed her PhD studying fungicide resistance mechanisms in 2018 at the John Innes Centre. She continued into a postdoctoral position focussed on unpicking the mode of action of a new group of antimicrobials.
  • marcella
    Marcella Automation Scientist Marcella completed her BSc (Hons) in Forensic Sciences in Dundee and her Masters in Forensic and Conservation Genetics in Preston. As an automation scientist, Marcella first got interested in laboratory automation during an internship for an animal genomics company in Nebraska.
  • Clara
    Clara Senior Scientist Clara completed her BSc and MSc in Brazil and France and moved to Manchester 5 years ago to do her PhD in Synthetic Biology.
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Software Engineer (Bioinformatics) Ciaran is a bioinformatician with a background in biochemistry and genetics. He specialises in developing tools to build microservices and web-apps. Ciaran has experience developing NGS pipelines, and automating bioinformatics processes to streamline product development.

Join our team

We're always looking for talented individuals who share our passion for innovation and excellence.