Home » Policy & public » Biosecurity » News Digest #246 – Synthego raises $110M, the new culture of responsibility, and re-awakening the ag microbiome

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



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.”


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.


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!


Latest news

Insert alt text here

Let your kid be a hero, a genetic engineering hero

Read more →


Synpromics unveils next generation liver selective and tunable promoter platform

Read more →


Cannabis from yeast: will synthetic pot help grow the industry?

Read more →

red tides

These proprietary microbes could improve red tides

Read more →

Organic farming

Labcyte introduces the Echo 650 and 655 liquid handlers

Read more →


Warwick Uni spin-out bidding to raise £20,000 for open source MicrobeMeter

Read more →

Thanks to our sponsors:

Thermo Fisher Scientific


Mintz Levin

More reads

More reads

The Economist Intelligence Unit and Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, release 2018 Global Food Security Index findings (Press release)

How the CRISPR alphabet soup can make you a trillion dollars (Lux Research)

Many start-ups want to commercialize animal-free meat. Here’s what they have to do first (C&EN)

Makerere iGEM 2018 – Uganda’s first iGEM team turns waste plastic into fuel (Twist Bioscience)

Oxford Biotrans has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2018 in the Food & Drink category

Selexis and Berkeley Lights collaborate to accelerate cell line development with the Beacon optofluidic platform (Press release)

Modern Meadow is using biotechnology to produce material that looks and feels similar to leather (PBS Newshour)

Mintz is holding their annual Diversity event on November 1, 2018, at Domenico Winery in San Carlos (Event)

Two new start-up firms join TWB: iMEAN and Green Spot Technologies

Amyris successfully producing its new zero calorie natural sweetener at industrial scale (Press release)

Synpromics promoter technology moves closer to the clinic (Press release)

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

Senior Software Engineer (Synthetic Biology Automation), Edinburgh Genome Foundry

ARPA-E Program Director in SynBio, Washington, US

Feature your job here →



Click here to join our weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think about this article. Got a tip for our news team? Write to editorial@synbiobeta.com.

Add comment

Job opportunities