Synthetic Biology start up NanoSyrinx secures capital to develop its fully customisable platform for intra-cellular engineering
NanoSyrinx is the first company to engineer ‘nanosyringes’, a selective non-viral peptide and protein delivery system identified in an undisclosed organism. The company will focus on direct cytosolic delivery of genome editing enzymes and therapeutic proteins in vivo, with key applications in the cell and gene therapy space.
Coventry, UK, 30th September 2020: NanoSyrinx, an emerging biotechnology company developing new therapeutic modalities for Cell & Gene editing, announced the closing of a Pre-Seed financing led by M Ventures (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), the corporate venture capital arm of Merck. BioCity (Nottingham, United Kingdom) and UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) (Oxford, United Kingdom) also participated in the financing. The company also secured grant funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator and Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) recently.
NanoSyrinx is developing a fully customisable genetic platform that selectively delivers peptide and protein payloads – including functional gene editing enzymes and nucleases – directly to the cytosol of targeted cells. The system was first identified by the Waterfield Lab based at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick. NanoSyrinx Ltd was founded in 2020 following the completion of an extensive international market validation exercise under the ICURe programme, funded by Innovate UK. The platform developed by the team offers a unique combination of features, overcoming challenges such as payload limitations and manufacturing complexities, which has limited the adoption of other intracellular delivery approaches.
CEO Dr Joe Healey, who joined from the Waterfield Lab to lead the company, said, “We believe that our nanosyringe platform will unlock new approaches for the treatment of many intractable diseases and will be of value to a wide range of potential partners and customers. The company is delighted with the early progress made in both in vivo active pharmaceutical delivery and ex vivo cell engineering applications.”
NanoSyrinx’s initial focus will be on the development of its ex vivo gene editing nanosyringe concept, having already engaged with a number of leaders in the cell therapy field.
Dr Arnaud Autret, Investment Principal at M Ventures, who joined the Board, said, "The platform technology underpinning NanoSyrinx has major potential value across a range of Life Sciences areas. We are excited to be part of the venture at this early stage and to help shape a successful future. The team has done excellent work to develop and secure the technology which provides a strong basis for growth. The company’s strong technical foundations will be attractive to new investment partners when it seeks its next equity financing round in Q1 2021 to further support its development."
NanoSyrinx is an emerging biotechnology company developing a novel system for targeted delivery of therapeutic proteins and peptides direct to the cytosol. NanoSyrinx was co-founded in 2020 by Dr Healey, Dr Waterfield and Dr Hapeshi to commercialise the team’s research at the University of Warwick’s Medical School. Dr Stephen Taylor, ex SVP at Fujifilm Diosynth, has joined the company as Executive Chair.
For more information, visit nanosyrinx.com
About M Ventures
M Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact the company's core business areas. From its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel, M Ventures invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. M Ventures has a significant focus on early stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage the company's science and technology base. For more information, visit www.m-ventures.com
BioCity Group Ltd is a specialist life science incubator providing integrated model to create the right environment to maximise a SME’s likelihood of success including specialist facilities, business incubation support and early stage investment. BioCity also manages the Alderley Park Venture Fund, a seed fund developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca. The Group’s strategy is to invest broadly across Life Science and Healthcare Technologies including Therapeutic and Therapeutic platforms, Healthcare technologies, Medical Devices and Diagnostics. For more information, visit: www.biocity.co.uk/investment
About the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)
UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that helps the UK to build innovative businesses, leverage private investment and grow jobs. UKI2S achieves this by nurturing new businesses arising from the great science undertaken in the UK; providing the patient, long-term committed capital and strategic advice these companies need. UKI2S is usually a founder investor and often the sole investor in the very earliest stages. Over the past decade and more UKI2S has built a substantial track record with 57 portfolio companies created – with only £15m of capital from UKI2S – that between them have attracted over £500m of later stage investment and now have a combined market value of over £750m. UKI2S works closely with its partners – led by STFC, BBSRC and NERC, which are all part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Dstl – and is aligned with the Catapults and Innovate UK to create the best environment for innovation to flourish and in turn, boost the UK’s competitiveness and productivity by commercialising key technological advances in industrial biotech, ag tech, healthcare, medicine, clean energy, materials, artificial intelligence, software and space. UKI2S is independently managed by specialist venture capital firm Midven www.midven.co.uk
For more information, please visit: www.ukinnovationscienceseedfund.co.uk
For further information, please contact:
Dr Joe Healey
Juliette Craggs/Richard Anderson
Sciad Communications Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 3405 7892