Prime Medicine, a biotech startup working on revolutionizing CRISPR technology, has raised $315 million in combined Series A and Series B funding.
The Massachusetts-based biotech startup is working on gene-editing technology that could outperform CRISPR not only by performing the same functions while providing more flexibility when it comes to curing genetic diseases.
Unlike CRISPR, prime editing has the ability to swap out individual DNA bases, which increases the range of genetic diseases that could potentially be a thing of the past.
Andrew Anzalone, the co-scientific founder of Primer Medicine, referred to how his technology works and differentiate from CRISPR by stating:
“We like to use the analogy of search and replace because the beauty of the Crispr system is you can tell it where to go exactly in the genome. Our [prime editing] system also tells it exactly how to fix it, and that’s really what makes it unique. The idea was to really try to broaden the scope of what we can do with gene editing,”
CRISPR was one of the most revolutionary technologies in the medical field in recent years, earning a Nobel Prize to its developers in 2020. Now, Prime Medicine is taking a new approach that has allowed its valuation to grow to $1.2 billion less than 1 year after starting its operations.
Some of the firms that have invested in the biotech startup are F-Prime, Newpath Partners, Moore Strategic Ventures, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and Samsara BioCapital. Stephen Knight, President and Managing Partner at F-Prime, said the technology’s potential is, “both attractive intellectually but also groundbreaking.”
While Prime Medicine has not established specific timelines for its goals, CEO Keith Gottesdiener believes that “it won’t be many years” before the team is able to try the technology in human patients.
For now, the biotech startup is planning to use the funds to build out its gene-editing technology and move its programs forward in terms of clinical testing, as well as grow its team from 50 to 100 employees by the end of 2021.