Inscripta closes $150M VC round, scores first commercial buyer of CRISPR gene editing platform

Inscripta just got another step closer to achieving its mission of bringing CRISPR gene editing technology to the scientific masses.

The genomic engineering company, a member of Fierce Medtech’s 2019 Fierce 15, recently closed a series E funding round totaling $150 million. The investment was led by Fidelity Management and Research Company and funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates.

Upon the close of a $125 million series D round in December 2019, Inscripta calculated its total amount of funds raised since its 2015 founding at $259.5 million. With the latest influx of funds and an extension of the series D in November 2020, that total now clocks in at well over $450 million.

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The latest investment round will support Inscripta’s efforts to grow its organization and further develop and distribute its technology, President and CEO Sri Kosaraju said in a release.

At the core of the company’s portfolio is the Onyx platform, a benchtop-sized system for digital microbial genome engineering. Its automated workflow allows researchers to identify new genomic pathways and relationships and compile them into vast libraries, use CRISPR to edit those findings on a broad scale and analyze the effects of those edits, all on the same platform.

Inscripta’s data and proprietary MAD7 CRISPR nuclease have been available to researchers for quite some time, with the latter available for free to all interested scientists. Additionally, a handful of collaborators received early access to the Onyx system, including Sestina Bio, a biotech firm that launched in the fall of 2020 and is already using Onyx for genomic discovery and engineering.

But the platform was shipped to Inscripta’s first commercial customers only recently, in a milestone the company celebrated alongside its latest funding round. One of the recipients, and the first in Europe, is the University of Liverpool’s GeneMill, which provides synthetic biology services to partners in life sciences, pharmaceuticals and more.

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“This is an exciting milestone for Inscripta, and it follows our mission to enable researchers to realize the full potential of the bioeconomy,” Kosaraju said. “GeneMill, and our other early customers, will be instrumental partners in shaping the broad impact of the Onyx platform’s unprecedented scale, performance and accessibility.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct information about Inscripta's fundraising history. Korys did not participate in the series D extension, according to a spokesperson for Inscripta.