Home » Funding & investments » Digest #253 – $1.2 billion in 1 week: Moderna $604M IPO, Zymergen $400M, Synthorx $131M IPO, Synthace $25.6M, Elemental Machines $9M, GenEdit $8.5M + our early bird ends Friday!

Digest #253 – $1.2 billion in 1 week: Moderna $604M IPO, Zymergen $400M, Synthorx $131M IPO, Synthace $25.6M, Elemental Machines $9M, GenEdit $8.5M + our early bird ends Friday!


SynBioBeta Digest

Your guide to what’s new in synthetic biology

Hi all,

It’s been a phenomenal week for the synthetic biology industry with $1.2B flowing into the industry from a couple of big IPOs and some big new funding rounds: Moderna $604M IPO, Zymergen $400M, Synthorx $131M IPO, Synthace $25.6M, Elemental Machines $9M, GenEdit $8.5M, more on all these below.

We’re looking for great speakers for SynBioBeta 2019. If you want to make a splash, launch a product, or think you’ll have an announcement, apply here to speak by December 31. As a reminder, our early bird pricing for SynBioBeta 2019 is ending on Friday.

This week we focus on the synthetic biology investment ecosystem:

“We can already make everything found in a barrel of petroleum in real time using engineered organisms. The capital costs are lower, the timescales to get the manufacturing spun up and working are lower. Biology isn’t universally outcompeting petrochemicals yet, but it’s clear that that’s coming.”Rob Carlson.

In investment news, “one of the biggest gambles in the history of the life sciences industry made it to Wall Street when Moderna, a developer of messenger RNA drugs—an unproven technology with enormous potential—priced the largest biotech IPO ever ($604M),” according to Xconomy. Zymergen announced $400 Million in Series C funding to leverage artificial intelligence, robotic lab automation, and genomics to unlock previously inaccessible sources of molecular diversity. Zymergen’s platform is able to produce improved molecules for leaders in manufacturing, specialty chemicals, food and agriculture, electronics, and pharmaceuticals.

“We believe biology will allow us to reinvent all kinds of material products we use in our everyday lives,”said Joshua Hoffman, Zymergen co-founder and CEO.

Synthorx raised $131 million in an upsized IPO to use an Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform technology to design and scale-up novel proteins to deliver therapies for diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders. Computer aided biology pioneer Synthace secured $25.6 million in series B funding to accelerate R&D whilst reducing cost. GenEdit raised $8.5 million in seed funding to transform the delivery of gene therapies and enable the next generation of non-viral, gene editing-based therapeutics. Elemental Machines announced that they closed a $9 million Series A funding round during the summer to revolutionize science-based industries with insights that help researchers transform laboratory operations.

Laura Shawver, CEO of Synthorx

In space biotech, Precision BioSciences and 15 students from Durham, NC launched the world’s first genome editing experiment in space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The project will explore how microgravity affects the activity of a synthetic enzyme. The program was made possible by Space Center Houston and the DreamUp program, an educational spinoff company from commercial services provider NanoRacks. If you are interested in space exploration, sign up for our newsletter BetaSpace.

Have a great week!

Latest news

100k Bio Challenge encourages participants to become Virtual Bioengineers

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Synthetic biology: A call for a new culture of responsibility

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Accelerating the Bioscience Revolution: an interview with Arye Lipman

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CELLINK and Prellis Biologics to commercialize high-resolution holographic bioprinting technology

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Berkeley Lights new workflow speeds novel antibody discovery from months to just one day

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Intellia Therapeutics and Novartis expand cell therapy collaboration

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Thanks to our sponsors:

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Mintz Levin

More reads

More reads

New report from Stanford scholars seeks to demystify the biosecurity landscape

Computer logic meets cell biology: how cell science is getting an upgrade (Nature)

“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab (Vox)

Hello Tomorrow, an innovation facilitator that makes its first strides in synthetic biology (PLOS Synbio)

Opinion: We have the technology to build a colony on the moon. Let’s do it (The Washington Post)

Amyris celebrates launch of new zero calorie, naturally-derived sweetener (Press release)

The automatic-design tools that are changing synthetic biology (Nature News)

UK government publishes bioeconomy strategy for 2018-2030

KnipBio announces the efficacy of its single cell protein ingredient in the diet of fingerling rainbow trout (Press release)

Xenotransplantation firm eGenesis hires Wes Westlin as R&D head (Fierce Biotech)

Renmatix and Gevo to evaluate the commercial feasibility of creating cellulosic hydrocarbons for global renewable jet fuel and gasoline markets (Press release)

Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Software Engineer – Back-end: Serotiny

Synthetic Biology Research Associate: LanzaTech

Fermentation Engineer: Culture Robotics, South San Francisco, CA

Computational Synthetic Biologist: Colorifix, Norwich Research Park

Head of Finance (VP/SVP level): Ginkgo Bioworks

Careers in Protein Engineering at Codexis

Senior Software Engineer: CATALOG

Head of Bioprocess: C16 Biosciences

Engineering Lead: Ansa Biotechnologies

Synthetic and Microbial Biologist: Colorifix, Norwich Research Park

Scientist: CATALOG

Mammalian Synthetic Biology – Protein Engineer: Serotiny

Mechanical Engineer: CATALOG

Synthetic and Microbial Biologist: C16 Biosciences

Feature your job here →



Marianna Limas

Marianna plays a critical role in displaying and communicating SynBioBeta’s message to the world. She manages SynBioBeta’s social media channels and newsletter, and works with the editorial, website, research and marketing teams.

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