- The Fully Enzymatic Synthesis™ (or FES™) technology by Molecular Assemblies is designed to overcome the length, purity, and accuracy limitations of the chemical DNA synthesis method
- The company is launching a key customer program to accelerate innovation in established industries and unlock new applications for synthetic DNA
SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2022 — Molecular Assemblies, Inc., today announced that it has raised a $25.8 million Series B financing with participation from new investor, Casdin Capital, and all major Series A investors, Agilent Technologies, iSelect Fund, Codexis, LYFE Capital, and Argonautic Ventures. The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the company’s proprietary enzymatic DNA synthesis technology toward early commercialization and start a key customer program later this year.
“From therapeutics to agriculture and biomaterials, DNA synthesis is a crucial component of many industries, and enzymatic DNA synthesis can overcome the immense bottleneck of the current chemical DNA synthesis method to accelerate innovation,” said Michael Kime, Managing Principal of iSelect Fund. “Molecular Assemblies is a pioneer in the field of enzymatic DNA synthesis, and our additional investment in the company underscores our support for their approach, team, and technology.”
“It’s great to see the continued support and excitement of our investors as we advance our powerful, differentiated, and proprietary Fully Enzymatic Synthesis technology to commercial access and enable the cost-effective production of ever-lengthening strands of DNA,” said Michael J. Kamdar, President and CEO of Molecular Assemblies. “We look forward to initiating our key customer program later this year and have received compelling input and interest from different industry leaders of how the ability to generate long, pure, accurate DNA with our FES technology can accelerate many applications, such as CRISPR, next generation sequencing, and the assembly of genes for numerous synthetic biology applications.”
Scientists at Molecular Assemblies have developed a Fully Enzymatic Synthesis™ (or FES™) technology that produces highly pure, sequence-specific DNA on demand. This two-step proprietary process uses aqueous non-toxic reagents, requires minimal post-synthesis processing, and can scale to longer DNA sequences. FES technology was specifically designed by Molecular Assemblies to overcome the substantial limitations of the current decades-old chemical DNA synthesis process, known as the phosphoramidite method. With longer, purer pieces of synthetic DNA, FES technology from Molecular Assemblies is designed to streamline synthetic biology applications and meet significant customer demand for faster turnaround times and reduced error rates.
“As a key, long time investor in Molecular Assemblies, we continue to be impressed with the company’s thorough approach to enzymatic DNA synthesis; it has the potential to make a significant difference in the market,” said Darlene Solomon, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Agilent Technologies. “From the solid group of investors to the talented and experienced team and the meaningful collaboration with Codexis, I believe Molecular Assemblies has all the right pieces to be successful.”
Due to the limitation of current chemistries, genes are routinely assembled using pieces of synthetic DNA of between 50 and 100 bases in length. The Fully Enzymatic Synthesis technology developed by Molecular Assemblies employs a template-independent DNA polymerase, called terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), which has the ability to synthesize much longer DNA sequences with fewer errors in an aqueous solution. However, naturally occurring TdT has several limitations to commercial use. To accelerate innovation for the field, Molecular Assemblies and Codexis partnered in 2020 to engineer enzymes to deliver differentiated and cost-effective solutions for the fully enzymatic synthesis of DNA.
John Nicols, Codexis’ President and CEO, concluded, “Having just completed one of the most intensive enzyme engineering campaigns in Codexis’ history, the resulting highly evolved version of TdT polymerase, which had over 25% of its amino acid sequence modified, delivers unparalleled coupling efficiency and speed at elevated temperatures. We believe this will significantly differentiate Molecular Assemblies’ Fully Enzymatic Synthesis technology from other emerging players and the current industry standard phosphoramidite method. I look forward to Molecular Assemblies exclusively deploying this proprietary enzyme to unlock the enormous commercial potential of enzymatic DNA synthesis.”
About Molecular Assemblies
Molecular Assemblies, Inc. is a private life sciences company developing an enzymatic DNA synthesis technology designed to power the next generation of DNA-based products. The company’s patented enzymatic method, based on making DNA the way nature makes DNA, produces long, high quality, sequence-specific DNA reliably, affordably, and sustainably. Molecular Assemblies’ technology will enable the reading and writing of DNA for many industries, including industrial synthetic biology and precision medicine, as well as emerging applications of DNA for data information storage, nanomachines, and bio-based electronics. Molecular Assemblies is headquartered in San Diego.
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