Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Crossovers Dump $120 Million Into Editas Medicine to Advance Genome Editing
-- Highly Oversubscribed Financing Brings Together World-Class Syndicate to Invest in CRISPR/Cas9 Medicines --
-- Proceeds to Expand Editas’ Genome Editing Platform and to Advance Multiple Therapeutic Programs --
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Editas Medicine, a leading genome editing company, today announced that it has raised $120 million in a highly oversubscribed Series B private financing. The financing assembles a broad syndicate of leading public and private investors who underpin many of the most innovative biopharmaceutical and technology companies. Editas is translating the promise of CRISPR/Cas9 technology into a new class of transformative genomic medicines to treat a broad range of diseases by enabling precise and corrective molecular modifications to treat disease at the genetic level.
“With this financing, we have a strong foundation from which we can broadly develop our genome editing platform and advance multiple new therapies toward clinical trials,” said Katrine Bosley, CEO, Editas Medicine. “We are grateful for such strong support from so many high-quality investors who share our vision to translate this powerful science into transformative medicines.”
The new investor syndicate was led by Boris Nikolic, M.D., managing director of bng0, a U.S.-based investment company that was formed to invest exclusively in Editas Medicine and includes a select group of large family offices with a global presence and long-term investment horizon. Additional new investors include Deerfield Management, Viking Global Investors, Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Google Ventures, Jennison Associates on behalf of certain clients, Khosla Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Casdin Capital, Omega Funds, Cowen Private Investments and Alexandria Venture Investments. The Company’s founding investors, Flagship Ventures, Polaris Partners and Third Rock Ventures, as well as Partners Innovation Fund, also participated in this financing. In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Nikolic has joined the Editas Medicine board of directors.
“Editas Medicine has made great strides in the development of CRISPR/Cas9 technology,” said Dr. Nikolic. “The company is at the forefront of genome editing – one of the most exciting and important frontiers in science. I look forward to joining the board of directors and contributing to the team’s continued growth and success.”
Before creating bng0, Dr. Nikolic most recently served as chief advisor for science and technology to Bill Gates at bgC3, the private office of Bill Gates, and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led select for-profit and not-for-profit investment activities, including investments in various life sciences, information technology and healthcare companies. Earlier, Dr. Nikolic completed postdoctoral training in transplantation immunology at Harvard Medical School and served as an assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
About Genome Editing
Genome editing facilitates sequence-targeted modifications of DNA. The CRISPR (Clustered, Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system, the newest genome editing approach, uses a protein-RNA complex composed of an enzyme known as Cas9 bound to a guide RNA molecule designed to recognize a particular DNA sequence. The RNA molecule guides the Cas9 complex to the location in the genome that requires repair.
Recent advances in CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing have made it possible to modify almost any gene in the human body with the ability to directly turn on, turn off or edit disease-causing genes. This technology has the potential to address diseases that have previously been intractable to traditional gene therapy, gene knock-down or other genome modification techniques.
About Editas Medicine
Editas Medicine is a leading genome editing company and part of a transformational new area of health care – genomic medicine. The company was founded by pioneers and world leaders in genome editing bringing specific expertise in CRISPR/Cas9 and TALE technologies. The Company’s mission is to translate its proprietary technology into novel solutions to treat a broad range of genetically-driven diseases. For more information, visit www.editasmedicine.com.
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Dan Budwick, 973-271-6085