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Paris-based startup DNA Script has raised a total of €11M ($13M) in a Series A round led by Illumina Ventures and joined by Merck Ventures and existing investors Sofinnova Partners, Kurma Partners, and Idinvest Partners.

DNA Script said that the funding will be used to advance its enzymatic technology and nucleotide chemistry platform in order to manufacture oligonucleotides more quickly and at lower cost than existing approaches.

Founded in 2014, DNA Script is the world’s leading company in the manufacturing of de novo synthetic nucleic acids using an enzymatic technology. The company aims at accelerating innovation in life sciences and technology through rapid, affordable, and high-quality DNA synthesis.

As the field of genomics experiences rapid growth, new genome editing technologies are introduced, and research into life sciences is increasing steadily – the demand for synthetic nucleic acids has expanded, but is not always met.

For the past 50 years, synthetic DNA has been manufactured through a complex chemical process with limitations in terms of quality, turn-around time, and manufacturing flexibility. In contrast, DNA Script introduces a novel biochemical process for DNA and RNA synthesis based on the use of highly efficient enzymes.

This technology mimics the way nature produces genetic code and enables enhanced performance while minimizing the use of harsh chemicals.

“We are pleased to attract preeminent investors to our Series A round, which will allow us to further accelerate our R&D plan and technology scale-up,” stated Thomas Ybert, PhD, DNA Script Co-founder and CEO. “Our new process broadly enables new applications for synthetic DNA and RNA in drug discovery and development, industrial and food technologies, and DNA data storage. By applying high-quality oligo synthesis, we believe we can dramatically improve de novo nucleic acid synthesis performance compared to current technologies.”

Nick Naclerio, Founding Partner of Illumina Ventures and new board member at DNA Script, commented: “We are thrilled to support the team at DNA Script and to be joined by such a strong syndicate of investors. Advancements in DNA synthesis have not kept pace with progress in DNA sequencing and molecular biology.DNA Script has the potential to set a new standard for how DNA is made and accelerate the adoption of synthetic biology across diverse disciplines.”

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