Evonetix raises £9 million for gene synthesis technology

Charlotte Edwards 30 January 2018 (Last Updated January 30th, 2018 15:54)

Pioneering gene synthesis company Evonetix has completed a £9 million ($12.3 million) financing round to support the development of its scalable and high-fidelity gene synthesis technology.

Evonetix raises £9 million for gene synthesis technology
Prototype silicon arrays used by Evonetix to synthesise DNA on. Credit: Evonetix Ltd

Pioneering gene synthesis company Evonetix has completed a £9 million ($12.3 million) financing round to support the development of its scalable and high-fidelity gene synthesis technology.

Cambridge-based Evonetix was founded in 2016 to develop technology that will enable the large-scale parallel synthesis of DNA on silicon arrays to meet the increasing demand for high-output and highly accurate DNA synthesis.

The financing was a series A round co-led by Silicon Valley investor DCVC and London-based Draper Esprit. Other investors supporting Evonetix are the Morningside group, alongside existing investors Providence Investment Company (Jersey), Cambridge Consultants (Cambridge, UK), Rising Tide Fund (San Francisco, CA) and Civilization Ventures (San Francisco, CA).

Artificial gene synthesis, also known as DNA synthesis, is a method used in synthetic biology to create genes in the laboratory. Evonetix claims the field of synthetic biology will be worth $40 billion in the early 2020s.

Synthetic biology is expected to have a significant impact across many industries and could be fundamental in helping to manage the Earth’s resources. If Evonetix manages to provide high-fidelity DNA at scale, without the need for post-synthesis error correction, the company could place itself in a powerful position in the synthetic biology market.

Matt Ocko, managing partner of DCVC, said: “This is a truly novel approach to gene synthesis that can deliver massive parallelisation with an extremely low error-rate for high-complexity RNA and DNA constructs. We are excited to back a team and technology that can materially reduce costs and improve innovation in our own portfolio companies and multiple global industries.”

Evonetix CEO Tim Brears said: “We are delighted to be supported by such high-quality investors who have a deep understanding of the requirements of synthetic biology and are committed to this important, emerging area of science, and we look forward to working with them through the next stage of the company’s development”.