Cambridge-based Constructive Bio has been launched as a biotech company that will see it create synthetic genomes from scratch.
The technology can be used for commercial applications in a range of industries, including agriculture, manufacturing and materials. New polymers can also be engineered with the ability to break down and recycle monomers to support a circular and sustainable economy – a move that could transform the US$750 billion global polymer market while simultaneously helping the planet.
Polymers are found in everything from food packaging to cell phones, from plastic bottles to automotive 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 of the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the CRM (MRC-LMB).
“Over the past 20 years, we have created a cell factory that we can reliably and predictably program to create new polymers,” says Professor Jason Chinprogram manager at CRM Molecular Biology Laboratory and scientific director of Constructive Bio.
“The range of applications for this technology is vast – through 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 fully synthetic polymers containing the chemical bonds found in biodegradable plastics.
“Now is the time to commercialize 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.
It’s time to optimize the production of bioproducts to fight climate change
The company was created with the support of Ahren’s business engine and with input from Ahren’s science partner. The head turn was led by Ahren alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, General creation and OMX Ventures. The funding will be used to develop 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 fast, accurate, and affordable way,” says Pierre SochaPartner, Amadeus Capital Partners.
“The fundamental challenge then becomes how to write the DNA of whole living organisms, from scratch, to optimize the manufacture of these bioproducts. And that’s what Constructive Bio is looking for. By creating tools that allow us to design and program cells, we will address issues ranging from protein-based therapeutic design, to industrial and environmental sustainability, to food and agriculture, to consumer care and electronics.