Home » Funding & investments » News Digest #225 – SynBio Q2 funding tops $925m, today’s SynbiCITE webinar & John Oliver on gene editing

News Digest #225 – SynBio Q2 funding tops $925m, today’s SynbiCITE webinar & John Oliver on gene editing



Hi all,

Our quarterly synthetic biology investment numbers are in! 33 companies raised $925 million in the second quarter of 2018. For a live discussion of the data, please join us for a special webinar with SynbiCITE on global developments and business opportunities in our industry at 2pm London time. The webinar will also highlight opportunities at the SynBioBeta Global Summit (October 1-3) and a special SynbiCITE UK Showcase on October 1, both in San Francisco. In case you miss it, we’ll post the recorded webinar next week.

Global synthetic biology investment through Q2 was $1.5 billion, compared to $1.8 billion for all of last year, setting a pace in 2018 to nearly double last year’s investment.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out John Oliver’s take on CRISPR gene editing. It’s a complex topic with equally complex characters, yet Oliver gets to the technical and ethical heart of gene editing in 19 minute 29 seconds, with time to spare for shower sex between a mouse and a tick. Our columnist Embriette Hyde shares viewers’ reactions. Our take-away: brilliant #scicommedy. What’s yours? Tell us at engage@synbiobeta.com.

The power of synthetic biology is poised to reinvent everything from medicine to manufacturing, but as the technology advances, it will become easier to engineer pathogens and parasites that can infect us. To help reduce the danger of these potential risks, Ginkgo Bioworks announced a biosecurity initiative focused on designing software tools to screen DNA sequences and determine if they could be pathogenic or toxic to humans or animals.

This week, Evonetix received funding for a £1.3 million ($1.75M) gene synthesis project to develop a novel enzymatic process for DNA synthesis in collaboration with Durham University. Briefcase Biotec launched their reservation program for the first 50 Kilobaser devices – the ‘Nespresso machine of DNA primer synthesis’, you can learn more about it at SynBioBeta 2018 with CEO Alexander Murer.

We spoke with Charles Dimmler, CEO of Checkerspot, about their recent $5 million round of funding to make new sustainable, high performance materials from microalgae. It’s a sneak peak of Dimmler’s talk at SynBioBeta 2018.


“We see a future where consumer product and industrial designers will be thinking about designing their input materials at the molecular level, with the assistance of biologists, chemists, materials engineers and computer scientists.” – Charles Dimmler, CEO of Checkerspot.


Lanzatech receives grant to develop first waste carbon to jet fuel project
Global Bioenergies successfully moves its C3 process to Demo scale
IARPA awards Draper multi-year $7.8 million contract to improve biodetection security
Amyris and BGI agree to joint venture to improve human health in Greater China
Prellis Biologics achieves unprecedented speed and resolution in 3D printing of human tissue
Ecovative partners with CNC Exotic Mushrooms to reach EU market

All the News

Yield10 Bioscience begins field testing of genome-edited oilseed crops (Press release)

Does GMO labeling actually increase support for GMOs? (The Atlantic)

IARPA is seeking innovative solutions for the Molecular Information Storage (MIST) Program

A chemical breakthrough could eat the plastic pollution crisis (Wired)

Deinove enters into collaboration with bioMérieux to discover new antibiotics (Press release)

Ligandal’s bioinspired nanomaterials deliver CRISPR into nucleus of a T-Cell (Press release)

Behind the scenes of Bolt Threads: is spider silk the performance fabric of the future? (Gear Patrol)

Life sciences industry veteran Todd R. Nelson named SGI-DNA CEO to lead spin-out from Synthetic Genomics (Press release)

Who’s Hiring?

VP Industrial Property – DNA Script, Paris, France

Synthetic biologist/Protein engineer: XENO Cell Innovations, Pilsen, Czech Republic

To feature your job here, please get in touch

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