UNITED KINGDOM – Cambridge Epigenetix (CEGX), a life sciences tools and technology company that is revolutionizing genome sequencing, has announced the signing of a US$88 million Series D financing, bringing the total funds raised to US $146 million.
Temasek led the Series D round, which included new investors like Third Point as well as existing investors like GV, New Science Ventures, Ahren Innovation Capital, and Sequoia.
The funding will be used to commercialize the company’s proprietary genetic and epigenetic sequencing technology, which easily integrates into existing sequencing platforms to read more information from DNA.
Cambridge Epigenetix is transforming sequencing by extracting new dimensions of information from DNA in order to detect and treat disease earlier.
The company’s platform generates more data with greater efficiency, at a higher quality, and at a lower cost than standard next-generation DNA sequencing technology.
The company’s products, which are easily integrated into existing sequencers, will allow users to see at-a-glance genomic and epigenetic information that can be used to detect, diagnose, treat, and understand disease.
The DNA alphabet is broader than this and exploring the field of epigenetics, which looks at how genetic material undergoes subtle molecular changes which, in essence, create new letters.
Epigenetic marks are an important source of biological information for the next generation of diagnostics, such as those for early cancer detection.
Leading genomic research institutions have validated the technology, and several have continued to use it through early access programs.
Commenting on the transaction, corporate partner Ross McNaughton said: “We are delighted to have helped Cambridge Epigenetix with this landmark transaction, adding Temasek to its existing list of industry leading investors.”
“The company is developing some leading-edge technology in the areas of genetics and epigenetics and is another example of the strength of innovation emanating from within the Cambridge ecosystem.”
CEGX’s product works by rapidly reading the four genetic bases— (adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T)— that form the backbone of our genetic code –plus methylated cytosine (5mC or 5hmC) – clearly in a single sequencing workflow with a low DNA sample requirement and high accuracy.
In epigenetics research, adding a methyl group to the DNA letter “C” results in the formation of a new letter – “methyl-C.”
These epigenetic changes are closely linked to some diseases such as cancer, when certain pattern of methyl groups get attached to a cell’s DNA.
CEGX’s laboratory component is being manufactured, and these kits, along with software, are expected to be available for purchase in early 2022. This will be followed by the release of additional platform products, the next of which will be a 6-letter.
Executive Chair of Cambridge Epigenetix, Gail Marcus, added: “We are delighted to have secured this financing to support the commercial launch of CEGX’s products, which will make significant contributions to DNA sequencing, epigenomic research and precision medicine. We would like to thank Ross and Oli and the rest of the Taylor Wessing team for delivering an outstanding service, demonstrating their deep knowledge of the tech and life sciences sectors.”