Genome writing company Replay has launched operations with $55 million in seed funding, primarily from OMX Ventures and KKR.
Replay includes next-generation genomic medicine technologies in its portfolio to address the needs of diseases with high unmet needs. It also aims to create solutions to increase payload and turn-key cell therapies that will improve production volume, speed and consistency, reduce costs and expand genome engineering capabilities.
Some of the genomic drug platforms Replay is working on Involving uCell, a universal, renewable, genomically rewritten iPSC-derived cell source for regenerative medicine and cell therapy; synHSV, a high payload capacity HSV vector capable of delivering up to 30 times the AAV payload; and DropSynth, a genome writing platform that enables the inexpensive and rapid synthesis of large DNA and libraries of synthetic genes. The fourth platform, LASR, provides an inference algorithm that can rewrite proteins to achieve optimal functionality.
Replay prides itself on its unique corporate structure, which keeps the therapeutic product development and technology development departments separate. The company has established four synHSV companies to provide key DNA treatments for monogenic disorders that affect the brain, muscles, eyes and skin.
“Genomic medicine has the potential to transform the future of clinical therapies. During my three decades of experience in clinical medicine, academia and the biopharmaceutical industry, it has become clear that we need a more robust and comprehensive toolkit of molecular genetic platform technologies to solving biology’s most complex problems and realizing its full therapeutic potential,” said Adrian Woolfson, BM, B.Ch., Ph.D., the executive chairman, president, and co-founder of Replay, in a statement. declaration.
Replay was co-founded by Woolfson, Lachlan MacKinnon and Ron Weiss, Ph.D. MacKinnon is a founding member of the team at Oxford Science Enterprises and a founding member of ONI, OMass Therapeutics and Base Genomics, while Weiss is a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to Replay, Woolfson was Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development at Sangamo Therapeutics and Chief Medical Officer at Nouscom.
“Replay’s mission is to create a leading company that develops and owns the tools to reprogram biology by writing and delivering large DNA; we believe these capabilities will unlock the greatest untapped opportunity in medicine. Replay has tremendous entrepreneurial experience within the company, as well as a team of seasoned industry players to guide the development of platform technologies and product companies to bring new treatments to patients,” said Kugan Sathiyanandarajah, the general manager at KKR who also held a board seat at replay.
The other companies that have invested in the seed funding are ARTIS Ventures, Lansdowne Partners, SALT, Axial and DeciBio Ventures. KKR invests through the KKR Health Care Strategic Growth Fund II, which focuses on high-growth healthcare companies. Replay is headquartered in San Diego, California and London, United Kingdom.