Precision BioSciences Raises $110M to Advance ARCUS Genome Editing

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Durham-based genome editing company Precision BioSciences announced that it has raised $110 million to further the development of its proprietary ARCUS genome editing platform.

The Series B financing was led by ArrowMark Partners and includes the following new investors: Franklin Templeton Investments, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Brace Pharma Capital, Pontifax AgTech, OCV Partners, Adage Capital Management, Cormorant Asset Management, Gilead Sciences, Vivo Capital, Alexandra Venture Investments, Ridgeback Capital, Agent Capital, and affiliates of Leerink Partners. These companies join existing investors venBio, F-Prime, RA Capital Management, Amgen Ventures, Osage University Partners, DUMAC, and the Longevity Fund.

Precision will use the proceeds from the financing to expand ARCUS therapeutic-grade genome editing in the areas of immuno-oncology, genetic disease, and food. Precision also plans to expand its product portfolio in 2018 as it works to build a fully integrated biotechnology company.

Earlier this month the company created a new name and brand identity for its food and agriculture business, called Elo Life Systems. It will use Precision’s proprietary genome-editing platform and other new technologies for applications in crop improvement, animal genetics, industrial biotechnology and sustainable agriculture, the company announced.

“We are thrilled to have such strong support for these leading healthcare investors who share our vision for the future of human health through innovations in food and medicine,” said Precision Chief Executive Officer Matt Kane. “This financing provides a strong foundation from which we can advance our translational genome editing programs in multiple sectors.”

In conjunction with the financing, Tony Yao of ArrowMark Partners has joined Precision’s board of directors and will serve with existing directors Mark Kane, Precision Chief Scientific Officer Derek Jantz, and Robert Adelman of venBio.

Yao said Precision’s gene editing technology represents a new way to alter the genome that can address several areas of unmet need. “I look forward to working with the team as we advance our programs,” he added.

Precision, which was co-founded by Kane, Jantz and Chief Technology Officer Jeff Smith, Ph.D., in 2006, uses a novel method to modify the DNA-recognition properties of homing endonucleases. The company deploys genome editing to eliminate cancers, cure genetic diseases, and create safer, more productive food sources.

Bryant Haskins, NCBiotech Writer
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