Merck provides pre-seed funding to nanosyringe start up

The start up is engineering ‘nanosyringes’, a selective non-viral peptide and protein delivery system identified in an undisclosed organism

NanoSyrinx, an emerging biotechnology company developing therapeutic modalities for cell & gene editing, announced the closing of a pre-seed financing led by M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck. BioCity and UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) also participated in the financing. The company also secured grant funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator and Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) recently.

NanoSyrinx is developing a customisable genetic platform that selectively delivers peptide and protein payloads, including functional gene editing enzymes and nucleases, directly to the cytosol of targeted cells. The system was identified by the Waterfield Lab based at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick.

NanoSyrinx was founded in 2020 following the completion of an international market validation exercise under the ICURe programme, funded by Innovate UK. The platform developed by the team reportedly overcomes challenges such as payload limitations and manufacturing complexities, which has limited the adoption of other intracellular delivery approaches.

CEO Dr Joe Healey, who joined from the Waterfield Lab to lead the company, said: “We believe that our nanosyringe platform will unlock new approaches for the treatment of many intractable diseases and will be of value to a wide range of potential partners and customers. The company is delighted with the early progress made in both in vivo active pharmaceutical delivery and ex vivo cell engineering applications.”

NanoSyrinx’s initial focus will be on the development of its ex vivo gene editing nanosyringe concept.

Dr Arnaud Autret, Investment Principal at M Ventures, who joined the Board, said: "The platform technology underpinning NanoSyrinx has major potential value across a range of Life Sciences areas. We are excited to be part of the venture at this early stage and to help shape a successful future. The team has done excellent work to develop and secure the technology which provides a strong basis for growth. The company’s strong technical foundations will be attractive to new investment partners when it seeks its next equity financing round in Q1 2021 to further support its development."

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