Cambridge startup raises $103m in first close of Series B
The investment community is getting used to fireworks from bit.bio so it was fitting that the Cambridge company chose November 5 to announce the close of its Series B round at $103 million.
New and existing institutional and strategic investors were involved in bit.bio’s Series B round,; backers include Arch Ventures, Charles River Laboratories, Foresite Capital, National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience), Metaplanet, Puhua Capital and Tencent.
At the end of October, bit.bio recruited Nobel Laureate Sir Greg Winter, serial tech founder and investor Dr Hermann Hauser and serial life sciences entrepreneur Alan Roemer to the board. They will provide crucial guidance as bit.bio scales its proprietary synthetic biology cell programming technology platform, creating products and solutions based on human cells that can transform healthcare from basic research and drug discovery to next generation cell based therapies.
Hauser told Business Weekly that the company could become a world leader in synthetic biology. He set it in context after being named bit.bio chair: “bit.bio is one of the most exciting companies I have been involved in. It could become a, if not THE lead company in synthetic biology.”
Dr Hauser rates synthetic biology as one of four ‘go to’ sectors for investors going forward: “Synthetic Biology is one of my four key technologies together with quantum computing, AI and Blockchain +smart contracts,” Dr Hauser said.
The Series B funding will accelerate the clinical development of the company’s proprietary cell coding technology opti-oxTM – a breakthrough gene engineering approach that enables unlimited batches of any human cell to be manufactured consistently at scale through direct reprogramming of stem cells. It will also support the continued growth of the company’s ioCells product portfolio – where opti-oxTM is used to create human cell products that are unique because they offer consistency at scale and the cells are highly defined.
Access to ioCells enables partners and customers to conduct translational research and drug development with physiologically relevant human cell models.
Using human cells to bridge the translation gap in drug development will improve chances of clinical success and the potential to unlock a new generation of medicines.
bit.bio has already launched two products for research and drug discovery – glutamatergic neurons and skeletal myocytes – with disease models and other cell types to follow.
Mark Kotter, bit.bio CEO and founder, says: “I’m thrilled that bit.bio is supported by world class investors and strategic partners. The capital will enable us to accelerate our clinical and commercial scale-up and to deliver cell therapies for every patient, everywhere.”