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Nuclera’s $42.5m Series B lift is protein printer accelerant

Nuclera, the benchtop protein printing company on Cambridge Science Park, has closed its Series B financing after raising $42.5million.

The Nuclera eProtein desktop bioprinter. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Nuclera eProtein desktop bioprinter. Picture: Keith Heppell

Its ground-breaking protein printing technology has attracted many new and existing institutional and strategic investors including M&G, Amadeus Capital Partners,

E Ink, RT Partners, Future Planet Capital, British Business Bank Future Fund, and GK Goh.

The funds raised will be used to accelerate the development and commercialisation of its eProtein desktop bioprinter. The bioprinter is a breakthrough rapid protein prototyping and discovery platform that enables protein printing in just 24 hours, significantly faster than existing methods of protein synthesis.

The eProtein bioprinter is powered by the company’s eDrop digital microfluidic technology – a core enabling technology borne out of the company’s strategic partnership with E Ink.

In May 2021, Nuclera announced it had acquired the digital microfluidic operations at E Ink in Boston, Massachusetts, along with a UK Future Fund investment led by E Ink.

The technology has since gained significant traction with customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, agribiotech and synthetic biology industries, who are already working with Nuclera to accelerate their innovation pipelines.

The eProtein desktop bioprinter will initially screen and print proteins for research and drug discovery customers, and the funding will also fast-track the company’s march towards developing an all-encompassing proteomics platform. This will provide Nuclera’s eProtein customers with an instrument that will unify protein expression and characterisation. The all-in-one platform will increase scientific reproducibility, accelerate drug discovery, and contribute to the ever-expanding bio-economy.

“There’s a fundamental productivity problem in biotech today,” said Michael Chen, co-founder and CEO of Nuclera.

Fom left are Nuclera founders CFO Jiahao Huang, CTO Gordon McInroy and CEO Micheal Chen. Picture: Keith Heppell
Fom left are Nuclera founders CFO Jiahao Huang, CTO Gordon McInroy and CEO Micheal Chen. Picture: Keith Heppell

“A biotech scientist needs to know how to make proteins to design drugs. That’s like expecting a computer scientist to know how to build a computer to design software.

“Our eProtein desktop bioprinter makes it easy for scientists to access the proteins they need in a single day rather than the weeks, months, or even years it currently takes.

“The new financing and partners we are announcing today is a strong vote of confidence in our mission to increase the accessibility of the drug discovery and general bio-innovation process.”

Andrea Traversone, managing partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “Nuclera’s eProtein platform unites the very fragmented workflow that currently exists in proteomics.

“Nuclera is bringing rapid prototyping – a concept that did not exist until now – to biotech, and by speeding up research and opening up completely new avenues of innovation, it will have a far-reaching impact in numerous markets.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of the team that Michael and his co-founders have assembled and the unique technology they are developing.”

Nuclera was founded in 2013 by four PhD students at the University of Cambridge who were frustrated by the inaccessibility of biology. In 2018, Nuclera raised a Series A of $11.2million led by RT Partners.

The company has 70 employees in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts. Nuclera was advised by Taylor Wessing, Stratagem and PEM for the new transaction.

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