National hub to support synthetic biology expanded with £5.5m funding commitment.imperial news

SynbiCITE, the UK National Center for Industrial Translation of Synthetic Biology, has received a £5.5m funding commitment from SynBioVen.

The funding will allow the Imperial-hosted center to continue to support synthetic biology start-ups and SMEs, strengthen the emerging UK bio-economy and unlock the social benefits of synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology, also called engineering biology, is a relatively new field that combines engineering and biological methodologies to design or redesign biological systems to produce useful and sustainable new products.

Synthetic biology has the potential to transform several fields and address pressing societal challenges. The UK has a leading position in basic science and the field is growing. It is important to continue supporting fledgling startups. Professor Mary Ryan Vice Chancellor (Research and Business), Imperial College London

The field has various real-world applications in cleantech, healthcare, and other fields. Synthetic DNA can be used to program cells to transform renewable resources such as plants and plant byproducts into fossil-free plastics and synthetic fuels to produce new medicines, vaccines and materials. .

Synbi CITE was founded in 2013 to accelerate such innovation. UK research and innovation Under the Body Innovation and Knowledge Center Program. We provide expertise, technical equipment and business training to synthetic biology start-ups and SMEs across the UK, helping 27 companies reach a combined market cap of £790m to date.

Funding from has enabled the center to expand. symbiobenis a new VC-backed investment vehicle interested in backing the UK’s synthetic biology sector and also investing in synthetic biology start-ups.

Professor Mary Ryan, Imperial’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: The UK has a leading position in basic science, and the field is growing thanks to support from initiatives such as his SynbiCITE. Continued support for fledgling startups is very important and we are pleased that SynbiCITE has received this support from his SynBioVen. ”

SynBioVen Co-Chair Sir David Harding and former British University Minister for Science Rt Hon Lord Willetts FRS said: Developing UK capacity in synthetic biology is critical to the move towards a green economy and zero carbon. Synthetic biology is a major general-purpose technology that has made great strides in the last decade. The country now has a strong research base with well over 100 start-ups and SMEs. In addition to funding the centre, SynBioVen will have his £15m available to support the development of these companies through effective industrial translation and investments critical to their growth. ”

De-risking the commercialization of synthetic biology

Prof. Paul Freemont and Prof. Richard Kitney in the lab
Professor Paul Fremont and Professor Richard Kitney

SynbiCITE technical equipment includes: London Biofoundry, backed by technical expertise, is a unique suite of advanced instruments for tasks such as DNA analysis and production. This gives companies access to the workflows they need to develop a proof of concept and build the necessary technical capabilities in-house.

SynbiCITE works with 80 companies, including 27 core groups, which are closely supported and heavily invested. They are part of Britain’s bioeconomy, which the government estimates is worth his £220bn.

The center also offers training, including a 4-day mini-MBA. It helps synthetic biology entrepreneurs (often with scientific rather than commercial backgrounds) acquire the commercial skills they need to succeed in the biotechnology field. SynbiCITE also founded his SynbiTECH, an industry-influential conference to help the community build international connections.

The center’s support helps companies successfully translate research into commercial technology. The key is to de-risk companies from an investor’s perspective and mitigate the so-called “valley of death” where promising deep tech start-ups struggle to get the investment they need to grow. too uncertain.

“VCs are naturally interested in the financial side of things. Professor Richard Kitney, Co-Director of SynbiCITE. “For example, they may invest in five companies and calculate that three will fail. The companies we support have a much higher success rate because we also support them scientifically and technically. Funding from SynBioVen will continue to support national programs to de-risk investments in the UK’s synthetic biology sector.”

Professor Paul FremontCo-Director of SynbiCITE, added: This rapid growth relies on a pipeline of new and innovative startups with unexpected ideas and exciting applications. This investment will enable SynbiCITE to continue to establish and support this pipeline, ensuring that the UK continues to be a global center of innovation in synthetic biology. ”

Since its inception, SynbiCITE has worked with 80 companies. It includes a core group of 27 new ventures, which are closely supported and heavily invested. They are part of the UK bioeconomy, which includes synthetic biology and other biotechs, with the UK government estimating that he is worth £220bn, and by 2030 this figure could be I predict it will double. Market research firm BCC Research predicts that the synthetic biology market will grow from $9.5 billion in 2021 to $33.2 billion in 2026, a compound growth rate of 28.4%.

success story

Companies supported by SynbiCITE include:

  • colorifixis a Cambridge and Norwich based company founded in 2016 that uses genetically modified microorganisms to turn renewable raw materials such as plant by-products into natural dyes and then applies these dyes to fabrics. let it settle. This reduces our dependence on energy, water and toxic chemicals and provides an alternative to industrial dyes. The company recently raised his £18m in a Series B investment round led by fashion giant H&M.
  • Sindhis an Oxford University startup launched in 2020 that develops a recycling technology that uses enzymes to break down hard-to-recycle plastics into their molecular components that can be reused as raw materials in various industries. Scindo has successfully completed a pre-seed and seed funding round.
  • LabGenius, Originally an imperial start-up, it develops robotics and machine learning-based platforms to speed up the design of new antibodies that can be used as treatments for cancer, inflammatory conditions, and other diseases. The company completed his $25 million Series A round in 2020.

Dr. Jing Pang, Head of Industry Partnerships and Commercialization, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial University, said: We provide access to early insights into new ventures and technologies in the ecosystem, and in return provide valuable support to help the ecosystem thrive. ”

National hub to support synthetic biology expanded with £5.5m funding commitment.imperial news

Source link National hub to support synthetic biology expanded with £5.5m funding commitment.imperial news

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