Billionaire Kirk grabs $150M round for synthetic biology deals at Intrexon

Randal "RJ" Kirk

A day after striking the latest in a series of its special "channel" collaborations, Intrexon has reloaded its bank account with a fresh $150 million infusion of cash, with significant added contributions from billionaire founder RJ Kirk and his venture fund, Third Security.

This new infusion of cash brings Intrexon's total investment to a whopping $509 million, much of it Kirk's money, though he welcomed some new, unnamed investors to the fold in this F series. The cash will be used to finance a whole new slate of collaborations in the field of synthetic biology, which Kirk vows is the next big thing to come along in biotechnology. 

"The Intrexon team is committed to delivering results for all of our collaborations," said Kirk in a statement. "With our proprietary technology platforms, we are helping our collaborators discover, design, develop and ultimately bring to market genetically-enhanced products that hold remarkable promise. It is especially gratifying to our entire team that, in addition to being our largest investment series to date, a majority of the investment came from new investors who share our vision."

Yesterday Intrexon says it struck a deal with Soligenix, an over-the-counter player which trades under the symbol $SNGX. Intrexon signed up to partner on new biodefense and infectious disease applications for Melioidosis using Intrexon's antibody discovery, isolation and production technologies. Melioidosis is endemic to southeast Asia and is considered a potential bioterrorist threat by some.

Kirk made two fortunes in biotech, selling New River and Clinical Data. His keen interest in retaining equity in his companies allowed him to build his personal fortune to more than $2 billion, according to Forbes.

- here's the press release
- read the release on the Soligenix deal

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