News Digest #246 – Synthego raises $110M, the new culture of responsibility, and re-awakening the ag microbiome




 

Conagen

Hi all,

Synthego just announced a $110 million Series C financing round led by Founders Fund to deliver optimized CRISPR products with unparalleled scale, consistency, and reproducibility. Paul Dabrowski, co-founder and CEO, says that their “vision is a future where cell and gene therapies are ultimately as accessible as vaccines, so that everyone can benefit from next-generation cures.”

Synthego

Kevin Holden, Head of Synthetic Biology at Synthego, spoke at SynBioBeta this month.

This week we examine just how Pivot Bio is re-awakening the agricultural microbiome: It has “fine-tuned” nitrogen-producing microbes to “spoon-feed” crops, ​potentially eliminating the need for synthetic nitrogen. According to Pivot, if every US farmer used its new PROVEN™ product, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road. During SynBioBeta 2018, Pivot announced a $70 million Series B ​led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Pivot Bio

Agriculture’s pivot towards synthetic biology: Karsten Temme, CEO of Pivot Bio and Nishan Degnarain of the World Economic Forum met on the mushroom stage for an inspiring fireside chat at SynBioBeta 2018.

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures also invested in DMC’s synthetic biology platform, which has the potential to transform traditional product and chemical development by dramatically reducing time-to-market and costs. DMC recently announced a seed funding, bringing the total raised to date to $1.5M.

Following our panel discussion on emerging security issues in synthetic biology at SynBioBeta 2018, Ali Nouri of the Federation of American Scientists and Shahram Seyedin-Noor of Civilization Ventures discuss in this op/ed how scientists and engineers should build bridges to the policy community to assess risks, develop proposed guidelines, and implement them in such a way as to foster, not impede, further innovation.

Biosecurity

Our next course “Introduction to Synthetic Biology” will take place on January 24th at Impact.tech in San Francisco. Learn about the growing power of biology to perform useful tasks and make high value products from drugs to spiders silk, register here.

Finally, Oxitec is expanding its collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help combat malaria in India, Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The Intrexon subsidiary has developed a powerful biological engineering platform that can be used to develop a range of self-limiting insects.

Have a great week!

John

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Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Professor/Associate Professor in Synthetic Biology: The SynBio Initiative – The University of Queensland and CSIRO

Business Development Manager, BioBuilder, MA

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ARPA-E Program Director in SynBio, Washington, US

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