Michigan Accelerator Fund I Invests $750,000 in Swift Biosciences
News Jan 18, 2013
Michigan Accelerator Fund I has made a $750,000 Series A1 investment in Swift Biosciences Inc.
This is the seventh company MAF 1 has funded since the fund’s inception in 2010, and the first investment since the fund closed at $15.1 million in August 2012.
The investment in Swift Biosciences continues MAF 1’s strategic focus to invest in Michigan-based, early stage, life science technology companies.
Located in Ann Arbor, Swift Biosciences is commercializing genetic testing technology to advance the field of genomics and personalized medicine. To date, Swift has launched a product suite referred to as myT Primers, which enable detection of mutated cells related to melanoma with extreme sensitivity. This opens the door for test specimens to be collected as blood samples instead of tissue, which may allow for earlier detection. In 2013, Swift will launch a new line of products focused on genome sequencing.
“We are thrilled to be investing in Swift at an extremely timely juncture, as their technology is forecast to hit the market right when the need will be the greatest,” said Dale Grogan, managing director of MAF 1. “We look forward to our investment realizing solid returns in two to three years, if not sooner.”
Launched in 2010 with the backing of several Michigan-based individual investors, MAF 1 now joins Houston-based Mercury Fund as Swift’s only institutional investors. The total invested in Swift to date is $6.15 million. The latest funding will support product development, patent filing and prosecution, and direct sales and marketing to key laboratory leaders.
“The inclusion of MAF 1 as a Michigan-based investor is highly encouraging, and provides us with additional financial runway as we launch new products in 2013,” said Swift Biosciences CEO David Olson. “They are a welcome addition to the Swift team.”
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.