The TU Dresden Spin-off Seamless Therapeutics Launches with $12.5M Seed Financing to Advance Transformative Gene Editing Platform Based on Programmable Precision Designer Recombinases in Dresden
Seed round co-led by Wellington Partners and Forbion, with additional non-dilutive financial support from the BMBF (GO-Bio funding) enables maturation of the proprietary platform and pipeline towards first clinical evaluation
Seamless Therapeutics, a Dresden based start-up of the Technische Universität Dresden, today announced a $12.5 million (€11.8M) seed financing round which will accelerate further development of its designer recombinases, a novel gene editing platform to transform the treatment of severe diseases. Seamless Therapeutics was founded based on the visionary discoveries from its scientific founders, Prof. Dr. Frank Buchholz, Dean of Research at the Faculty of Medicine and Head of Medical Systems Biology at the University Cancer Center of the Technische Universität Dresden, and his former PhD student Felix Lansing, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Seamless Therapeutics. Both are pioneers in the field of reprogrammable recombinases. Felix Lansing, PhD, will now be responsible for the further development of the company’s proprietary technology.
The company’s pioneering recombinase platform is able to program a widely used and established molecular biology tool to unlock the full potential of gene editing enabling the targeting of any site within the genome. The seed round was co-led by Wellington Partners and Forbion and includes non-dilutive financing from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF GO-Bio,-8B funding), a prestigious German government initiative supporting the most innovative startups in life sciences in Germany. Representatives from both Wellington and Forbion will join the company’s newly formed board of directors. The proceeds from the round will be used to further advance the company’s proprietary technology platform to build a pipeline of therapeutic candidates towards first-in-human readiness as well as to expand the company’s presence in the EU & US.
“I am very happy that our innovative and promising technology can now be transferred from basic research to a potential broad therapeutic application. The financial support provided by the BMBF and the investors will make a major contribution in this regard to advancing the development of this genome editing tool swiftly and purposefully,” said Prof. Dr. Frank Buchholz.
“Our modular platform has succeeded in reprogramming site-specific recombinases to any given target sequence effectively breaking the existing hurdles of leveraging this potential best-in-class gene editing system to treat human disease,” commented Felix Lansing, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Seamless Therapeutics. “I look forward to working with our founding investors and our highly skilled team to apply our deep knowledge of recombinases to develop a pipeline of novel treatments.”
“Our goal is to apply our deep understanding of recombinases to leverage their inherent benefits to repair genetic alterations that cause disease. We believe our pioneering technology will allow us to shatter the boundaries that exist in gene editing methods today,” said Anne-K. Heninger, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Seamless Therapeutics. “Both Wellington and Forbion are visionaries and highly experienced biotech investors, and we look forward to working closely with them in our efforts to transform the gene editing landscape.”
“We have entered a new era in drug discovery based on the promise of how precision gene editing can change the way we treat disease in the future. Seamless Therapeutics has a first-mover position with its innovative platform capable of modifying the long held standard recombination technology into a universal gene editing tool with unprecedented specificity. We are excited to support Seamless Therapeutics in its pursuit of taking a leadership position in the rapidly evolving gene editing arena,” added Karl Nägler, PhD, Managing Partner at Wellington Partners.
“At Forbion our philosophy is to seek out pioneering technologies early in their development and to enable founding teams to harness the true potential of their innovation. The team has developed a powerful new platform that has overcome key limitations of existing gene editing tools, such as CRISPR, prime & base editors,” said Dmitrij Hristodorov, PhD, Partner at Forbion.
Seamless Therapeutics’ platform has succeeded in reprogramming site specific recombinases to any given target sequence and make a range of specific changes including inversion, excision, exchange, and insertion from small to larger DNA fragments. Recombinases are a class of enzymes that have been widely used in scientific research for decades to precisely modify the genome of model organisms but until now could not be applied as a therapeutic due to their limited programmability to act on new target sites.
About Seamless Therapeutics
Seamless Therapeutics is changing the paradigm of gene editing through a pioneering approach to restore health in patients with severe conditions in a safe and precise manner. Our technology platform unlocks the reprogramming of recombinases, a highly versatile class of enzymes. We are applying our proprietary know-how to develop a pipeline of disease-modifying product candidates across a broad spectrum of indications to expand the therapeutic potential of gene editing.
About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners is a leading European venture capital firm investing in the most promising early- and growth stage life science companies in the fields of biotechnology, therapeutics, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health. With funds totaling more than €1.2 billion, thereof €590 million committed to life sciences, Wellington Partners has been actively supporting world class private companies translating true innovation into successful businesses with exceptional growth. To date, Wellington Partners has invested in 56 innovative life science companies, including Actelion (acquired by J&J), Definiens (acquired by AZ), Immatics (Nasdaq: IMTX). invendo (acquired by Ambu), MTM Laboratories (acquired by Roche/Ventana), Oxford Immunotec (acquired by PerkinElmer), Rigontec (acquired by MSD), Symetis (acquired by Boston Scientific), and Themis (acquired by MSD).
Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands, Germany and Singapore. Forbion invests in life sciences companies that are active in the (bio) pharmaceutical space. Forbion manages well over EUR 2.3 billion across multiple fund strategies that cover all stages of (bio-) pharmaceutical drug development. Forbion’s current team consists of over 30 life sciences investment professionals that have built an impressive performance track record since the late nineties with investments in 95 companies. Besides financial objectives, Forbion selects investments that will positively affect the health and well-being of patients. The firm is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Forbion operates a joint venture with BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), the manager of seed and early-stage funds, especially focused on Benelux and Germany. www.forbion.com
About BMBF GO-Bio
The BMBF funding initiative GO-Bio supports life science researchers with innovative ideas who are looking to go into business. It provides excellent conditions from an early project stage on for a successful switch from the lab to the economy.