Home » Emerging technologies » Automation and hardware » News Digest #245 – Berkeley Lights raises $95 million, a new OpenMTA for synthetic biology, and more

News Digest #245 – Berkeley Lights raises $95 million, a new OpenMTA for synthetic biology, and more


Hi all,

You might have heard Troy Lionberger from Berkeley Lights speaking at SynBioBeta recently. Well, they just raised a $95 million financing led by Nikon. The platform is a boon for synthetic biologists as it allows for some very sophisticated single cell manipulation, analysis and selection.

The BioBricks Foundation and the UK-based OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre announced a new easy-to-use legal tool that enables exchange of biological material between research institutes and companies. The OpenMTA is a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) designed to foster a spirit of openness, sharing and innovation in global biotechnology.

Synthetic biology startups are attracting venture funding in record amounts, with $1.9 billion making 2018 the largest year ever on record – and that’s only counting deals closed by early August. If you missed Brandon Clark from Silicon Valley Bank at SynBioBeta, you can watch our recent webinar from our “Synthetic Biology Annual Investment Report” here.

In other UK news, Evonetix has received the award for “Best Emerging Synthetic Biology Company” at the 10th Anniversary of the Oxford Bioscience Network (OBN) Awards. Evonetix was recognized for its novel gene synthesis technology, which directs synthesis at many sites in parallel, followed by an integrated error-detection process throughout assembly.

Finally, this week Ginkgo Bioworks is hosting their inaugural annual meeting, Ginkgo Ferment, in Boston on October 25th. Come tour Ginkgo’s newest foundry and join them for the Bioworks4 Opening Party. Ferment will offer a sneak peek at what’s next in the synthetic biology industry. I hope to see you there!

Have a great week!


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