Cambridge-based Constructive Bio has launched as a biotechnology company which will see it create synthetic genomes from scratch.
The technology can be used for commercial applications across a range of industries including agriculture, manufacturing and materials. Novel polymers can also be designed with the ability to breakdown and recycle the monomers to support a circular, sustainable economy – a move that could transform the US$750bn global polymers market while simultaneously helping the planet.
Polymers are found in everything from food packaging to mobile phones, plastic bottle to car parts.
The company, which has completed a US$15 million seed round, has also been granted an exclusive license from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to IP developed by The Chin Lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB).
“Over the last 20 years, we have created a cellular factory that we can reliably and predictably program to create new polymers,” says Professor Jason Chin, Programme Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Chief Scientific Officer of Constructive Bio.
“The range of applications for this technology is vast – using our approach we have already been able to program cells to make new molecules including from an important class of drugs and to program cells to make completely synthetic polymers containing the chemical linkages found in biodegradable plastics.
“Now is the right time to commercialise these technologies. By taking inspiration from nature and reimagining what life can become we have the opportunity to build the sustainable industries of the future.”
Time to optimise production of bioproducts to address climate change
The company was set-up with support from Ahren’s Commercial Engine and with Ahren Science Partner input. The seed round was led by Ahren alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, General Inception and OMX Ventures. The funding will be used to build out the technology platforms for commercial application.
“If we think of cellular biosystems as biological factories, we need to be able to write the cell’s operating system in a rapid, accurate and affordable way,” says Pierre Socha, Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners.
“The foundational challenge then becomes how to write the DNA of whole living organisms, from scratch, to optimise the manufacturing of these bioproducts. And that’s what Constructive Bio is going after. By creating tools that allow us to design and program cells, we will address issues from protein-based therapeutic design, industrial and environmental sustainability, food and agriculture, to consumer care and electronics.”