Cambridge MedTech bit.bio has raised £77 million to develop its synthetic biology cell programming platform.
bit.bio aims to create products and solutions based on human cells that can transform healthcare from basic research and drug discovery to cell-based therapies.
New and existing institutional and strategic investors in the Series B round include Arch Ventures, Charles River Laboratories, Foresite Capital, National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience), Metaplanet, Puhua Capital and Tencent.
The funding will accelerate the clinical development of the company’s proprietary cell coding technology opti-ox – 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.
This enables the firm’s partners and customers to conduct research and drug development with physiologically relevant human cell models, bridging the ‘translation gap’ in drug development and improving the chances of clinical success.
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.
“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,” said CEO and founder Mark Kotter.
The company recently unveiled a new chairman in serial entrepreneur Dr Hermann Hauser, a co-founder of chipmaking giant Arm.