Camena Bioscience, a synthetic biology company that provides genes to pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, has closed a $10m Series A financing round, led by Mercia. The new funding will be used to scale operations and continue the development of its DNA synthesis platform, gSynth.

The technology aims to provide a highly accurate enzyme-based DNA synthesis. UK-based Camena has already signed commercial agreements with consumers of synthetic genes, which secured it a multi-million-pound revenue stream over the previous year.

Synthetic genes are widely used in research to understand disease mechanisms and in drug discovery. The cost, time, and accuracy of traditional DNA synthesis methods are problematic, particularly for creating long or complex gene sequences. Camena’s technology uses a novel enzymatic technology to produce synthetic DNA, overcoming these problems.

Over 300 base pairs, gSynth produces DNA with 90% accuracy, whereas the existing phosphoramidite DNA synthesis technology, first developed in the 1980s, is only around 30% accurate and produces significant organic solvent waste.

Mercia Asset Management PLC is a specialist asset manager, which focuses on high-growth SMEs in the UK. The company invests in various sectors, including life sciences and biosciences.

Steve Harvey, CEO, Camena Bioscience, commented: “As the focus on sustainability and supply-chain security become more acute, Camena is leading the way with a green synthesis technology and is already well positioned to serve this burgeoning market.”

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“The invention of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies transformed our ability to “read” DNA. Our goal is to enable our customers to “write” DNA with the same confidence and ease.”

Lee Lindley, Investment Manager, Mercia, said: “The market for synthetic genes is growing rapidly but much of the demand is for complex genes which are extremely difficult to produce accurately. Camena’s technology is a game changer that could unlock a much bigger global market.  We’re excited to support Camena on its next stage of growth.”