Editas Medicine Raises $120 Million to Advance Genome Editing
News Aug 12, 2015
Editas Medicine, a leading genome editing company, has announced that it has raised $120 million in a highly oversubscribed Series B private financing. Editas is translating the promise of CRISPR/Cas9 technology into a new class of transformative genomic medicines to treat a broad range of diseases by enabling precise and corrective molecular modifications to treat disease at the genetic level.
“With this financing, we have a strong foundation from which we can broadly develop our genome editing platform and advance multiple new therapies toward clinical trials,” said Katrine Bosley, CEO, Editas Medicine. “We are grateful for such strong support from so many high-quality investors who share our vision to translate this powerful science into transformative medicines.”
The new investor syndicate was led by Boris Nikolic, M.D., managing director of bng0, a U.S.-based investment company that was formed to invest exclusively in Editas Medicine and includes a select group of large family offices with a global presence and long-term investment horizon. Additional new investors include Deerfield Management, Viking Global Investors, Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Google Ventures, Jennison Associates on behalf of certain clients, Khosla Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Casdin Capital, Omega Funds, Cowen Private Investments and Alexandria Venture Investments. The Company’s founding investors, Flagship Ventures, Polaris Partners and Third Rock Ventures, as well as Partners Innovation Fund, also participated in this financing. In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Nikolic has joined the Editas Medicine board of directors.
“Editas Medicine has made great strides in the development of CRISPR/Cas9 technology,” said Dr. Nikolic. “The company is at the forefront of genome editing – one of the most exciting and important frontiers in science. I look forward to joining the board of directors and contributing to the team’s continued growth and success.”
Before creating bng0, Dr. Nikolic most recently served as chief advisor for science and technology to Bill Gates at bgC3, the private office of Bill Gates, and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led select for-profit and not-for-profit investment activities, including investments in various life sciences, information technology and healthcare companies. Earlier, Dr. Nikolic completed postdoctoral training in transplantation immunology at Harvard Medical School and served as an assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.