Gene-editing startup Inscripta raises $55.5 million

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(Reuters) – Inscripta said on Wednesday it raised $55.5 million in funding as the privately held biotech startup looks to strengthen its research team and speed up development and commercialization efforts of its gene-editing tools.

The Boulder, Colorado-based company said the series C funding, which was led by Mérieux Développement and investment firm Paladin Capital Group, will be used to expand research capabilities.

Gene editing, an emerging field of interest in biotech, uses different technologies to target the DNA using various types of proteins. CRISPR, ZFN and TALEN are the proteins commonly used in different gene editing platforms.

In late 2017, Inscripta released a CRISPR enzyme, with no up-front licensing fees for its use by researchers. The company ultimately hopes to develop and commercialize gene-editing tools, including instruments, reagents and software.

“We want to supply the full suite of tools to do high-speed, high throughput, low-cost … precision editing, where we supply the complete solution,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ness told Reuters.

Inscripta has raised $84.5 million in total. It had raised $23 million in a series B funding round led by venture capital firm Venrock in February last year.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta