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Cambridge start-up Enhanc3D Genomics wins Johnson & Johnson support for human 3D genome technology



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Cambridge biotech start-up Enhanc3D Genomics has won grant funding, a residency and mentorship from Johnson & Johnson to help it progress its work on unlocking the potential of the human 3D genome for precision medicine.

The company, now based on the Jeffrey Cheah Medical Centre on Cambridge Biomedical Campus, span out of Professor Peter Fraser’s 3D genome organisation research laboratory at the Babraham Institute in 2020. Last year, it closed a seed round backed by Bioqube Ventures, Start Codon and two private investors.

Debora Lucarelli, CEO, Enhanc3d Genomics, with her team. Back, Adhil Mohammed and Helen Bignell and, front, from left, Alex Scott-Simons, Debora Lucarelli and Nicolas Walker. Picture: Keith Heppell
Debora Lucarelli, CEO, Enhanc3d Genomics, with her team. Back, Adhil Mohammed and Helen Bignell and, front, from left, Alex Scott-Simons, Debora Lucarelli and Nicolas Walker. Picture: Keith Heppell

Now it has been selected as one of the awardees under Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Immunology Innovations QuickFire Challenge.

It sought to find potentially transformative solutions to advance precision medicine approaches in immune-mediated disease.

Enhanc3D will receive grant funding, one year of residency at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, along with mentorship from experts at Johnson & Johnson companies.

It will seek to advance its work on unlocking the full potential of the human genome’s 3D organisation for target and biomarker discovery.

Enhanc3D says current identification methods use linear genome sequences, which fail to capture the complexity of 3D genomic interactions that underpin cell states in health and disease. Its proprietary technology focuses on the uncharted non-coding regions that make up 98 per cent of the human genome to identify 3D genetic interactions that can be the cause of disease susceptibility or progression.

CEO Debora Lucarelli said: “Our vision is to leverage the human 3D genome and state-of-the-art analytics of our platform GenLink3DTM to enable breakthroughs in precision medicine.

Debora Lucarelli, CEO, Enhanc3d Genomics in the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell
Debora Lucarelli, CEO, Enhanc3d Genomics in the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Picture: Keith Heppell

“Enhanc3D’s 3D genome atlas of different immune and neuronal cell types has the potential to transform target, pathway and patient signature identification. We are thrilled to be recognised among the awardees and look forward to expanding our human 3D genome atlas within the network of world-leading scientists, clinicians and selected strategic partners.”

The GenLink3DTM platform enables high-resolution mapping of DNA interactions in 3D space. Its computational capabilities integrate other multi-omic datasets, creating a functional atlas of healthy and disease-specific genetic signatures.

Enhanc3D says these previously uncharted interactions and AI-driven functional genomic insights will unlock novel pathways, drug targets and biomarkers. The founding team has published its findings in more than 40 peer-reviewed articles across scientific journals.

Debbie Dumont, managing partner at investor Bioqube Ventures, said: “At Bioqube Ventures, we invest in exciting science that can be advanced into breakthrough therapies. “We invested in Enhanc3D with a strong belief that GenLink3DTM will revolutionise patient-centric medicine as a first-in-class 3D genomics navigator.

“Enhanc3D has matured from our Create Model into a portfolio company and is now attracting additional financing to launch the GenLink3DTM platform in immune-mediated and neurodegenerative diseases.”

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