Synthace raises £7.3m to accelerate biotechnology to enable faster breakthroughs
• The Company’s Antha operating system brings end-to-end digitization to biotechnology, replacing current artisanal methods of development
• Speaking from the World Economic Forum, Sustainable Development Impact Summit, CEO Tim Fell stresses the need to make biology a true engineering discipline
• Funding to support strategic partnership initiatives and extensively scale sales and marketing
UCLB spinout company, Synthace Ltd., the technology company behind the Antha operating system for biology co-founded by UCL researchers, today announced that it has raised £7.3m ($9.6m) in Series A funding.
White Cloud Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and Eleven Two Capital participated in the round alongside existing shareholders that included Sofinnova Partners, SOSV and Bioeconomy Capital.
Speaking from the World Economic Forum, Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York, Synthace CEO Tim Fell said: “A sustainable future simply must include a better ability to engineer biology. Our need to heal, feed, fuel and manufacture for a growing population can be met by unlocking the near infinite power of biology but only by bringing software abstraction and more automation to biological R&D and manufacturing, and by enabling biologists to build atop their collective work. That is what the Antha platform does, and why we are so passionate about realizing its potential.”
Synthace will use the investment to expand the rapidly growing eco-system of biologists, lab instrumentation manufacturers, reagent and consumable suppliers, bio-design and analysis software developers and cloud providers adopting Antha as the connecting platform for biotechnology. This is key to enabling interoperability in hardware, working practices, and data in the life sciences, and something taken for granted in many other industries.
Isabel Fox, Head of Venture at White Cloud Capital, commented: “Synthace is transforming the way biotechnology is developed and the $170bn global life science R&D budget spent. The traction the Company has achieved with pharmaceutical, agritech and industrial biotechnology customers shows the cross-sector applicability of Antha. We are excited to support the company in bringing this technology to the immense market of any researcher or organisation developing products or services that incorporate biology.”
Hermann Hauser, Co-Founder and Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “Biotechnology has mass application, a true general purpose technology. Its development is challenging and Synthace is empowering biotechnologists to better understand and work with its complex nature. Amadeus is delighted to join this outstanding team on their important journey. Bioengineering and its implications for the future depend upon achieving step-change improvements in reproducibility, productivity and cost, all of which the Antha platform can deliver.”
“It is simply not good enough that it takes 13 years to develop a new crop trait or $2.6bn to bring a drug to market. The Pharma industry has a negative productivity curve stretching back 60 years, meanwhile the semiconductor industry has been marching to the beat of Moore’s law. Biotechnology desperately needs to move forward,” Fell concluded “and we know from other industries software driven design, development and manufacture is crucial to that transition”.
Based in London, Synthace is developing Antha, a language and software platform specifically for biology that lets researchers aim higher and achieve better results, faster. Antha is designed to make reproducible and scalable workflows that can be readily edited and shared, and easily automated on labs’ existing equipment. In 2016, the World Economic Forum included Synthace in its selection of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers that are helping shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.
For more information, visit: www.synthace.com
About UCL Business PLC
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is a leading technology commercialisation company that supports research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. UCLB has a strong track record in commercialising medical technologies and provides technology transfer services to UCL’s associated hospitals; University College London Hospitals, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Royal Free London Hospital. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from laboratory to market.
For further information, please visit: www.uclb.com