CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Biotech Startup Mekonos raises oversubscribed $25 million round to overcome pharma industry's cell & gene therapy delivery hurdles

Mekonos, Inc. | November 10, 2021

Mekonos, a biotech company building the future of cell therapies on a chip, has raised $25M in an oversubscribed Series A round co-led by Reimagined Ventures, Fiscus Ventures, and PEAK6 Strategic Capital, a division of PEAK6 Investments. New institutional and strategic investors, including Section 32, Sands Capital, TDK Ventures, and the venture arm of Debiopharm, and previous investors, including Novartis Pharma AG (dRx Capital) and Elementum Ventures, also joined in the funding round that will support Mekonos' next stages in product development and commercialization.

Mekonos has developed a novel chip technology platform that supports ex-vivo delivery of cell payloads at the single cell level. The platform allows for multi-payload physical delivery – multiplexing – into cells with repeatable and localized dose control for precise and scalable cell engineering. Demonstration pilot projects with top pharmaceutical and research labs have shown outstanding cell viability and uptake in delivery of CRISPR and other payloads into immune cells, stem cells, and other fragile cell types.

"Mekonos' novel technology is solving a critical pain point in an area of cell and gene therapy that hasn't seen significant innovation in 20+ years," said Neil Tiwari, who is joining Mekonos' Board of Directors to represent the lead investors. "Mekonos has an exceptional leadership team equipped to further the impact of its technology and partnerships. The company is well-positioned to play a lead role in the significant and fast-growing addressable market for cell and gene therapy solutions that deliver accessible personalized medicine."

"Mekonos is bringing truly disruptive cell engineering technology to reality. This investment aligns well with our aim to support the development of novel drug delivery systems and further explore the possibilities that digital platforms can bring to science and ultimately patients. We look forward to observing firsthand the improvements that Mekonos' plateform can bring to cell and gene therapeutics,"

 Lambert Potin, Partnering Associate, Search and Evaluation, Debiopharm

Mekonos will use the new capital to expand its MEMS, Microfluidics, Biology, and Business Development functions in order to advance its proprietary, integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC) for targeted ex vivo gene engineering. Jake Lesnik, previously an executive at System Biosciences, has also joined as VP of Business Development to expand partnerships and drive commercial strategy for Mekonos' market-leading cell engineering and therapeutics development platform.

"announcement is a clear signal that Mekonos is building critical infrastructure to unlock personalized medicine at scale and enable cell engineering across life science verticals. We are proud and humbled to work with top tier venture and strategic investors, and to exceed our initial goals for this fundraising round," said Anil Narasimha, CEO and Co-founder of Mekonos. "We are excited to partner with leading investors who share our vision for developing a new era of cell engineering that can simplify individualized treatments across disease spaces."

About Mekonos, Inc.
Mekonos is an enabling technology company transforming synthetic biology and personalized medicine. The company's SoC merges innovations in MEMS, microfluidics, and chemistry for controlled and individualized molecular delivery in cells at scale. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, is backed by leading investors in both healthcare and technology, and is an alum of Berkeley Launch, Berkeley SkyDeck, Creative Destruction Lab, and named a 2018 Fierce 15 startup.

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