64x Bio gains funding to advance cell line engineering platform

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

January 21, 2022 -- 64x Bio, a synthetic biology company, announced the close of a $55 million series A financing round to fund the expansion of VectorSelect, the company's cell line engineering platform.

Specifically, the proceeds will advance VectorSelect to design improved cell lines for a wide range of gene therapies, the company said. 64x will also use the proceeds to grow its employee base and partnership efforts with leading gene therapy companies through the expansion of additional intellectual property, operations, and business development infrastructure.

With current cell lines, vector manufacturing carries a tremendous cost, and in-house manufacturing capacity is exceeded for even the smallest disease populations. For gene therapy to address widespread diseases, capacity would need to increase by six orders of magnitude in many cases, the company noted.

Using VectorSelect, 64x can map millions of unique cellular genotypes to their individual vector production phenotypes. In this way, the company said, the technology enables high-throughput data generation from massively multiplexed experiments on millions of candidate cell lines simultaneously.

64x then applies computational tools to its CellMap database to filter trillions of possible solutions into millions of screenable genetic combinations. This process enables the discovery of cell lines with otherwise unattainable and radically improved productivities. The company is currently focused on cell and gene therapy and plans to expand to other markets in the future.

The series A financing round was led by Lifeforce Capital, with significant participation from Northpond Ventures, individual investor Michael Chambers (co-founder and former CEO of Aldevron), Future Ventures, and insider First Round Capital. Chris Gibson (co-founder and CEO of Recursion), Alix Ventures, as well as previous investors, including Fifty Years, SV Angel, BoxGroup, and Refactor Capital, also participated in the oversubscribed round.

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