Desktop Genetics Ltd (DeskGen), a UK bioinformatics company aiming to revolutionize the way genetic engineers work together, has announced that it has secured investment of £375,000.
The Company was founded by Riley Doyle, Victor Dillard and Edward Perello whilst completing their MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise in this department.
The investment comes from Boundary Capital Ltd, Execute Technologies Inc, and angel investors Richard Youngman, Michael Martin (both of Anvil Partners LLP), Dr Jonathan Milner (CEO, AbCam Plc) and Dr Darrin M Disley (CEO, Horizon Discovery Ltd). The receipt of the investment further unlocks a Technology Strategy Board grant for an additional £100,000, bringing the total funds raised to £375,000. DeskGen has also announced the appointment of Dr Darrin M Disley as non-executive chairman.
DeskGen is developing AutoClone™, a new DNA research engine that enables the optimal design, construction, management and exchange of DNA constructs to be used for vector/plasmid manufacturing, genome-editing, protein production and synthetic biology work-flows. AutoClone is a bioinformatics platform and database that works by sourcing the DNA sequences needed to build any new DNA specified by the user. These DNA sequences may come from the user’s own freezer, from another lab within their organization, or even public repositories. In sourcing the sequence information, AutoClone enhances research productivity by reducing the lengthy and expensive process by which DNA is synthesized externally (4-6 weeks by CRO) or internally (5-6 hours by expert scientists). DNA sequence, inventory, management and sharing functions enable the rapid and accurate assembly of sequences into validated molecular biology tools.
The investment will be used to: (a) expand the functionality of the AutoClone™ platform through internal R&D programs and in conjunction with industrial partners; (b) develop a cloud version of the product to be launched following a beta trial to be held in Q4, 2013; (c) establish business development, sales, and marketing functions that will enable the serving of customers in Europe and the USA.
Riley Doyle, CEO and founder of DeskGen, commenting on the close of the investment said: “AutoClone™ is a DNA design tool combined with a search engine that generates error-free protocols for researchers to recycle existing DNA and make the genes upon which the trillion pound Life Science industry depends. By crowdsourcing the constructs that researchers need, we believe the platform can save up to six million man-hours per year across the entire biotech domain. I am very happy we have been able to secure this investment which will enable us to move the business forward rapidly.”
Dan Somers, MD of Boundary Capital Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to be investing in DeskGen which is positioned to revolutionize the way DNA is built. The availability of high-quality DNA constructs is becoming essential as research efforts to unlock the potential of the human genome project increase at a near exponential rate. I look forward to working with the new Chairman and the executive team to deliver on the promise of the business”.