Sphere Fluidics and partners win InnovateUK grant for world’s first desktop genome editing system

Sphere Fluidics Limited and their partners have just won a £1 million grant to develop a novel automated single cell genome engineering platform.

The grant syndicate also includes University of Cambridge spin-out Horizon Discovery (UK) as well as Twist Bioscience (US) and the University of Edinburgh (UK). An Open Innovation Grant from InnovateUK, the award is open to companies in every industry in the UK.

Dr Frank F Craig (CEO) said: “Sphere Fluidics Limited is now manufacturing and selling its single cell analysis and characterization system (Cyto-Mine®) for the biopharmaceutical discovery and development market. We recently formed a syndicate of leading experts in genome editing techniques, such as CRISPR/Cas9, with the goal of adapting Cyto-Mine® technology to the genome editing field. We were very pleased to win this InnovateUK grant and create the opportunity to become world leaders in this field.”

“The aim of this project is to generate an automated, bench top device for the creation of high-value, genome-edited cell lines. Genome editing is rapidly becoming an essential tool across all areas of life sciences R&D (eg, basic research, diagnostics, gene therapy and regenerative medicine, synthetic biology and bio-manufacturing). By 2020, the global market is estimated to be worth almost $2 billion p.a. and rapidly growing with a CAGR of around 36 per cent.” said Dr Marian Rehak (R&D Director).

Dr Craig said: “Sphere Fluidics is entering an exciting phase of internationalisation and this grant project supports our strategy of extending Cyto-Mine® to new emerging global markets, such as the genome editing field. It cements an exciting time for us—as earlier this year, we raised $2.8 million to help complete Cyto-Mine product development and manufacture and open a US sales office. The syndicate was led by Greenwood Way Capital and supported by existing investors, such as 24Haymarket. The support of that syndicate also helped us recently win UK Business Angels Association 2017 Life Sciences Investment of the Year. Such awards indicate that the investment community is also excited about the global potential of Sphere Fluidics and its Cyto-Mine® technology.”

 

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