Google leads $21m Cambridge Epigenetix funding round
GV – formerly Google Ventures – has led a $21 million Series B funding round for a Cambridge UK epigenome pioneer.
Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX), has been described as the best bet to commercialise epigenetic sequencing to boost treatment of a raft of diseases.
GV’s Tom Hulme said: “We’ve seen how the commercialisation of genome sequencing has created incredible opportunities to improve human health and now the epigenome holds similar potential.
“Cambridge Epigenetix is one of the few teams on the planet with the skills and experience to break new ground here, and we look forward to supporting them on that journey.”
CEGX has simultaneously unveiled former Illumina luminary Dr Geoff Smith as CEO. While GV led the Series B round there was significant participation from Sequoia Capital. Current investors New Science Ventures, Syncona Partners and Cambridge University also joined the round. Hulme will join CEGX’s board of directors and co-founder Dr Bobby Yerramilli-Rao will assume the role of chairman.
At Illumina, Dr Smith served most recently as site lead and VP of product development. “CEGX is today ideally positioned to catalyse the market for epigenetics – just as Solexa and Illumina did for genomics a decade ago – and I am thrilled to have joined at such a transformational time for the company and in driving the next generation of epigenetics products,” he said.
“We appreciate the continued support of our existing investors and look forward to working with our new backers, whose unparalleled expertise in building data-driven businesses of substantial value will be key.”
Professor Shankar Balasubramanian, co-founder of CEGX, also previously co-founded Solexa to develop Sequencing by Synthesis which is now the basis for Illumina’s market-leading NGS technology.
CEGX was founded on similarly cutting-edge, patented technology which is now in use in labs around the world and continues to form the technological backbone for breakthrough work in epigenetics.