Biotech startup Mekonos raises $4.6m for its gene engineering platform

Biotech startup Mekonos raises $4.6m for its gene engineering platform

Published: 24-11-2020 12:09:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 4609 | Tags:

Mekonos, a biotech company launching the first-of-its kind system-on-a-chip (SoC) for targeted ex vivo gene engineering, announced it has completed a $4.6 million financing round. Mekonos will use the new capital to accelerate the SoC platform for its current and new commercial partnerships. The SoC platform, with IP from Stanford University, is a breakthrough that allows for molecular delivery in gene editing and synthetic biology. \

The platform is scalable across all cell types and has shown to be a high yield solution for partners. The platform helps companies increase capacity, accelerate discoveries, and develop new pre-clinical assets in the emerging cell and gene therapy space. The financing round was led by Novartis AG with participation from institutional VCs including Hike Ventures, CRCM Ventures. Existing investors participated in the round, including Good AI Capital and previous lead Elementum Ventures.

Anil Narasimha, PhD, Co-founder and CEO, Mekonos: "We are delighted to work with such a strong team of investors and advisors who share our vision for the future of molecular delivery, gene therapies, and synthetic biology. This financing follows exciting momentum from the past year, including ongoing collaborations with two top 5 pharma companies and cell therapy research groups for our high yield SoC molecular delivery."

The company recently completed pilots with key top pharmaceutical companies and research institutes that demonstrated high efficacy of modified gene expression and cell viability. They are now preparing to expand existing partnerships and engage in new ones.

Mekonos' platform is a physically controlled infrastructure that removes statistical uncertainty so that therapy cells are controlled like data. A scalable gene-editing chip constitutes the core of such a platform. Thanks to the recent combination of commercialized innovations, the vision of applying advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology to the production of disposable chips capable of editing the genes of millions of cells in parallel would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Bringing such scale to the application space of advanced therapies would allow for an unmatched level of automation, quality, precision, and agility from other existing technologies.

Cassian Yee, Director, Solid Tumor Cell Therapy: "The Mekonos technology represents a highly innovative non-viral gene delivery method that can benefit all cell therapy modalities." Dr. Cassian recently joined Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, Director, ChEM-H, and Dr. Irv Weissman, Director, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine on the scientific advisory board of the company.