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$88m financing for Cambridge Epigenetix will help revolutionise sequencing



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Cambridge Epigenetix has completed a stunning $88million (£64.6m) Series D round, which included new investors impressed with its proprietary genetic and epigenetic sequencing technology.

The Chesterford Research Park company has now raised $146m to date to help it revolutionise sequencing by delivering more information from DNA.

Dr Shankar Balasubramanian. Picture: Nathan Pitt / University of Cambridge
Dr Shankar Balasubramanian. Picture: Nathan Pitt / University of Cambridge

Singapore-headquartered Temasek led the Series D round, which also featured New York investment adviser Third Point and existing investors GV, New Science Ventures, Ahren Innovation Capital and Sequoia.

The company, which was founded by one of the original fathers of modern sequencing, Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, said it would use the funds to commercialise its technology, which “easily integrates into existing sequencing platforms”.

It has been validated by leading genomic research institutions and researchers, including Professor Dennis Lo, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor Wolf Reik of the Babraham Institute, who have continued using the technology through early access programmes.

Prof Balasubramanian, who co-invented next-generation DNA sequencing with Prof David Klenerman, said: “We are pleased to have raised a significant Series D round from high-profile investors to support the commercial launch of the first product from our new multi-omic platform, and the expansion of our organisation.

“Importantly, our sequencing technology works with all sequencers and enhances their accuracy as opposed to replacing or competing with them.

“Further, our technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of genome sequencing, as the low sample requirement and streamlined workflow facilitate its cost-effectiveness and ease of use without sacrificing accuracy.

“We look forward to making game-changing contributions to DNA sequencing, epigenomic research and precision medicine.”

The platform unambiguously identifies five letters of DNA – the four genetic bases (A-T-C-G) plus methylated cytosine (5mC or 5hmC) – in a single sequencing workflow with a low DNA sample requirement and high accuracy.

Epigenetic marks are known to be a vital source of biological information, which could empower next-generation diagnostics including early cancer detection.

Manufacture of the laboratory component of Cambridge Epigenetix’s product has begun and its kits, combined with software, are expected to be available for purchase in early 2022. Further platform products – including a six-letter kit –are expected to follow.

The company is chaired by Gail Marcus but is currently without a CEO.

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