Broken String Bioscience Closes $15M Series A Funding Round
19 September 2023
Broken String has completed its Series A funding to further develop and commercialize the Company’s INDUCE-seq DNA break mapping technology. The investment round is co-led by Illumina Ventures and Mérieux Equity Partners, with contributions from HERAN Partners, and existing investors Tencent and Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures).
Broken String Biosciences, known as Broken String, a genomic company, recently announced the closure of a $15 million Series A investment round. This funding will support the development of Broken String’s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based DNA breaking mapping platform. The team plans to scale the INDUCE-seq™ platform into a ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS) offering. Additionally, they aim to expand its capabilities beyond gene editing, diversifying its market strategy and enhancing commercial appeal.
The company’s primary goal revolves around designing safer cell and gene therapies. Technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 underpin these cell and gene therapies, but they necessitate rigorous pre-clinical assessments of off-target editing events, which come with their own set of challenges.
Felix Dobbs, PhD, the CEO of Broken String Biosciences, shared:
“Operating at the intersection of biology, bioinformatics and data science, our INDUCE-seq platform offers an unbiased, end-to-end solution that expedites the measurement and assessment of off-target gene editing during therapeutic development […] By developing a deployable PaaS offering, we have the opportunity to provide the cell and gene therapy community with this much-needed solution and achieve rapid market growth.”
Moreover, the platform technology tackles the challenges posed by current gene editing off-target measurement methods. It employs an innovative PCR-free technique to directly gauge and quantify DNA double-strand breaks using NGS.
Arnaud Autret, PhD, Principal at Illumina Ventures, remarked:
“The clinical progression of cell and gene therapies is held back by off-target safety concerns – we recognize the power of Broken String Biosciences’ technology to drive advances in safer genome editing, genome biology and genetic toxicology, and optimize drug development programs. The platform has the potential to become the gold-standard solution for measuring off-target gene editing.”
Yoann Bonnamour, Investment Manager at Mérieux Equity Partners, observed:
“The gene therapy market, and the essential off-target assessment technology alongside it, is a rapidly growing opportunity. Broken String Biosciences’ team has the technical expertise and resources, paired with its strong connection with a world-leading genomics research institute, to drive this platform forward and transform the way gene editing programs are designed and developed.”
Furthermore, the platform technology promises in situ off-target measurements in clinically pertinent cells. This will hasten the advancement of cell and gene therapy programs. It also aims to offer data-driven insights throughout the discovery, pre-clinical, and clinical development phases. This will pave the way for new therapeutic targets within the genome and further gene editing programs.