GreenLight Biosciences Lands $109M In Private Placement Funding
GreenLight Biosciences has gotten the green light for $109 million in additional funding to help finance the development of its ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based technology for agricultural and human applications.
GreenLight uses its patented cell-free RNA manufacturing platform for a variety of crop protection and human health purposes. The technology can build RNA strands that precisely target specific genes in plants, animals, or fungi, beneficially suppressing the activity of those genes.
The Medford, Massachusetts-headquartered company has a growing presence in Research Triangle Park. Its RTP location houses bioinformatics, genomics screening and formulation operations – along with 60,000 square feet of greenhouse, laboratory and office space – to support both its plant and human health pipeline.
New financing supports crop, human protections
The additional private placement financing comes from both new and existing institutional investors. They include S2G Ventures, BNP Paribas Ecosystem Restoration Fund, Continental Grain Company, Cormorant Asset Management, the Cummings Foundation, Fall Line Capital, the FTX Foundation, Insud Pharma, Morningside Venture Investments, Rivas Capital, Sigmas Group, and SymBiosis. Certain GreenLight directors and executive officers also are making an investment.
GreenLight has agreed to sell close to 28 million shares of its common stock as part of the transaction. The company said the proceeds from the new financing, combined with current cash and cash equivalents on hand, should be enough to fund its operations through the first half of 2023.
“This funding enables our delivery of the first-ever externally applied RNA for crop protection,” said Andrey Zarur, GreenLight’s CEO. “In coming months, we anticipate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval and launch of Calantha, our solution for control of the Colorado potato beetle. Later this year, we plan to make a regulatory submission of our solution targeting varroa mites, which are decimating honeybee colonies around the globe.”
These products could lessen dependence on chemical pesticides, which can harm the environment and are sometimes limited in their effectiveness.
For human health, GreenLight is developing a messenger RNA (mRNA) platform. Its lead vaccine programs, which are in the pre-clinical stage, include candidates for COVID-19, influenza and shingles. Earlier-stage programs are under development to address other unmet needs such as sickle-cell disease.
“In recent months, we have manufactured mRNA at scale with Samsung Biologics and launched partnerships to develop vaccines with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health and with The Serum Institute of India,” Zarur pointed out. “GreenLight will be working to develop vaccines for COVID and shingles in the coming months.”
GreenLight Biosciences (Nasdaq: GRNA) was founded in 2008. It has a workforce of about 250, based mainly in Medford; Rochester, New York; and RTP, where employment is expected to grow to about 60 employees by the end of this year. The company’s mission is to address some of the world’s biggest problems by delivering on the full potential of RNA for human health and agriculture.