DeciBio Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in and advising precision medicine start-ups, invested in the seed funding round for Replay. KKR & Co. Inc. and OMX Ventures led this funding round, which totaled $55 million. Additional participants included ARTIS Ventures, Lansdowne Partners, SALT, and Axial.
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As part of DeciBio Ventures’ strategy-heavy and supportive VC model, DeciBio Ventures is also providing Replay with ongoing strategic support.
Replay’s portfolio of next-generation genomic medicine technologies aims to solve the key challenges currently limiting clinical progress, including the need for increased payload capacity and off-the-shelf cell therapies that substantially reduce cost of goods, improve production speed, volume and consistency, and expand the potential for genome engineering.
Replay’s genomic medicine toolkit comprises several synergistic technology platforms, including:
- synHSV™ – a high payload capacity HSV vector capable of delivering up to 30x the payload of AAV. synHSV™ facilitates the delivery of large genes, genomic genes, multiple genes, and multiple transcriptional activators and repressors, thereby extending the reach of genomic medicine and opening up the possibility for polygenic therapy
- uCell™ – a universal, renewable, off-the-shelf, genomically rewritten, hypoimmunogenic iPS cell source for regenerative medicine and cell therapy
- DropSynth™ – a genome writing platform that enables the rapid, efficient, and low-cost synthesis of libraries of synthetic genes and big DNA
- LASR™ – an evolutionary inference machine learning algorithm that facilitates the extensive rewriting of proteins to optimize functionality
Replay’s innovative corporate structure separates technology development from therapeutic product development within disease area-specific product companies. Each product company is co-founded by seasoned entrepreneurs in conjunction with international thought leaders in each therapeutic area. To date, Replay has established four synHSV™ gene therapy product companies, aimed at bringing big DNA therapies to monogenic diseases affecting the skin, eye, brain and muscle, and an enzyme writing product company using LASR™ and DropSynth™ to optimize enzyme functionality.
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Adrian Woolfson, Executive Chairman, President, and Co-founder of Replay, commented: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with DeciBio, whose strategic insights have proved to be invaluable.” Lachlan MacKinnon, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-founder of Replay, added: “DeciBio is a recognized leading consulting firm in precision medicine. In addition to their consulting expertise, they have access to a broad set of proprietary datasets that we use for our strategic planning. They are extremely well connected within the industry, and we are excited to access their network of experts.”
Beyond Replay’s advanced technologies, DeciBio Ventures was drawn to Replay’s uniquely seasoned management team, founders, and Board members. Stephane Budel, a co-founder of DeciBio Ventures and DeciBio Consulting, highlighted: “We are excited about our investment in Replay, as we are bullish on the gene and cell therapy space, and on Replay’s underlying IP and technology. In addition, it is rare to run across a start-up management team that is so seasoned across industry, start-ups, and academia. For example, Replay’s President was EVP at Sangamo Therapeutics, Chief Medical Officer at Nouscom, a Global Clinical Leader at Pfizer, and Global Medical Lead at Bristol Myers Squibb. And, the CEO was a member of the founding team at Oxford Sciences Enterprises (formerly OSI) and a founding investor in Base Genomics, ONI, and OMass Therapeutics. Other co-founders include leading academics in the fields of virology and synthetic biology at top institutions such as Harvard and MIT, with experience inventing ground-breaking technologies – including one of Replay’s technologies – and founding other entities.”
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