Inscripta (formerly Muse Bio) has raised a $55.5 million Series C round led by healthcare investor Mérieux Développement and Washington, DC-based private equity firm Paladin Capital Group. Existing investors Venrock, Foresite, MLS Capital, and NanoDimension also participated.
Inscripta is building a business based on selling gene-editing tools, such as instruments, reagents, and software, and in order to create a market for these tools, the company is giving away CRISPR enzymes for free. CEO Kevin Ness likened his company to selling pickaxes during the gold rush.
“To really achieve, a significant amount of research needs to be done and not all that research is being done because people don’t have all the tools that they need,” said Ness.
CRISPR is the technology that enables gene-editing (GE), a way of selectively breeding crops by removing certain genetic material, but without introducing foreign genetic as is the case in genetic modification or GMO technology. Its application in agriculture is highly anticipated and two companies are set to debut GE products in the near future.
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