– The financing will support development of a commercial instrument system based on the company’s proprietary and disruptive MAGNA™ technology.
– MAGNA™ is set to unlock the field of dynamic genomics.
– Funds raised from a global investor syndicate led by Lansdowne Partners and Bpifrance and supported by funds bringing additional experience in the life science sector.
PARIS and CAMBRIDGE, England, Dec. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Depixus®, a biotechnology company developing a unique technology for the fast, accurate, and straightforward extraction of multiomic information from DNA, RNA, and proteins, today announces it has raised EUR 30.6 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing. The funds will be used to further develop its proprietary MAGNA™ instrument system, workflows, and reagents towards commercial launch. The round was co-led by Lansdowne Partners and the PSIM Fund operated by Bpifrance on behalf of the French State, with participation by Casdin Capital, and existing investors, including Arix Bioscience. This financing brings the company’s total equity and grant funding to-date to over EUR 41 million (USD 47 million).
With MAGNA™, large numbers of individual molecules of DNA and RNA are captured in their native form, immobilised within a flow cell, and are then available for repeated interrogations that can reveal a broad range of features including base modifications, molecular structure, and interactions with other nucleic acids, proteins, or drugs. These capabilities unlock previously unattainable insights into the “dynamic genome” – the layers of information beyond the four-base coding sequences of DNA and RNA, that are key to gene expression, regulation, and control.
Detection of abnormal changes in base modification patterning have been shown to underpin many disease processes. The MAGNA™ technology will greatly accelerate access to this complex layer of the dynamic genome, opening up significant opportunities in the earlier detection and improved management of major diseases such as cancer. Moreover, the way in which nucleic acids, especially RNA, are folded and structured is also critical to biological regulation. With MAGNA™ these structures can often be revealed and analysed in detail. MAGNA™ therefore has strong potential as an aid in the discovery of drugs that either disrupt or stabilise RNA structures – affording opportunities to modulate hitherto ‘undruggable’ pathological cellular processes.
Gordon Hamilton, CEO and Co-founder of Depixus®, commented: “We are extremely excited by the power of our MAGNA technology to overcome the current challenges of base modification sequencing and RNA structural analysis. Our technology looks set to open new horizons in applications such as biomarker discovery for liquid biopsy cancer detection, virology, and the development of drugs targeting RNA.
We are very pleased to attract such a strong group of investors, which further validates the potential of the MAGNA platform to transform our understanding of cellular processes. Thanks to the support from our new and existing investors, we will continue to recruit additional top talent in France and the UK to further develop the platform through to commercial launch and beyond.”
John Berriman, Chairman of Depixus®, said: “Depixus® has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. We are now confident that MAGNA instruments will provide unique and economical insights into the development and treatment of disease.
This is a very exciting time for the Company as it progresses from pre-commercial research towards the launch of products.”
Lachlan MacKinnon, Board member and representative of Lansdowne commented: “I am truly excited to join the Board of Depixus® at this critical moment in the company’s history.
The Depixus® technology will enable scientists and biotechnology companies to move from a world of measuring DNA and RNA as linear, one-dimensional sequences, to one of dynamic, three-dimensional objects with many base modifications, at scale.
Having seen the impact of methylation detection on liquid biopsy, I look forward to the company making sizeable contributions across the wider dynamic genomics landscape”.
Thibaut Roulon, Senior Investment Director at Bpifrance said: “We are delighted to partner with Lansdowne to support Depixus® in the development of its MAGNA instrumentation system. The company is a laureate of the final phase of France’s Worldwide Innovation Challenge. Depixus® has proven the excellence of its breakthrough technology for the fast, accurate and straightforward extraction of information from DNA and RNA molecules beyond their simple sequence. This opens the door for many applications such as earlier and more accurate cancer diagnosis.”
Following this capital raise, Lachlan MacKinnon and Thibaut Roulon, will join Mark Chin of Arix Bioscience, Ronald Lindsay, Steve Allen, Gordon Hamilton, and John Berriman, on the Board of Directors.
The company is based in Paris, France and Cambridge, UK, and is actively recruiting top talent to join its team.
Depixus® recently announced the publication of a scientific paper showcasing the MAGNATM capabilities in the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology, part of Nature Research journals. The paper, entitled ‘Detection of genetic variation and base modiﬁcations at base-pair resolution on both DNA and RNA’, can be freely downloaded here.
About Depixus® and MAGNA™
Depixus® is a fast-growing innovative biotechnology company based in Paris, France, and Cambridge, UK, developing its cutting-edge MAGNA™ technology to reveal the secrets of the dynamic genome. The technology is set to transform our understanding of how genetics is regulated and provide powerful new insights into the mechanisms of disease.
Depixus® is a spin-out from spin-out from Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS), one of the most prestigious ‘grandes écoles’ in France. The company has been financed not only through equity investment but also via numerous grants, including from the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and Innovate UK programmes.
The MAGNA™ technology is based on an instrument system called a ‘magnetic trap’. Samples of nucleic acid are captured within a flow cell and then can be analysed at multiple levels of resolution. To learn more about the way the MAGNA™ technology works and some of the many different assays that can be performed with the platform, please visit www.depixus.com.
About Lansdowne Partners
Lansdowne Partners is an investment management partnership founded in 1998. The firm manages assets for a diversified client base that includes some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated investors.
About Bpifrance and the PSIM Fund
Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extra financial services (training, consultancy) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…).
Created in June 2017 as part of the Future Investment Program (PIA) and managed on behalf of the State by Bpifrance, the PSIM fund “Major Innovation Support Program” aims in particular to support the winners of the Global Innovation Competition via an equity investment. It enables French start-ups to move towards the industrialization of their breakthrough innovations and their international development.
For more information, please visit: https://www.bpifrance.com
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