Adds former Illumina operations team to develop and commercialize gene-editing technology
Boulder, Colo. – September 5, 2018 – Inscripta™, a leading gene-editing technology company, today announced the strategic acquisition of Solana Biosciences, a life sciences company founded by Illumina™ (NYSE: ILMN) veterans. Through the acquisition, Inscripta and Solana have joined forces to accelerate the commercialization of Inscripta’s suite of gene-editing technology tools. Inscripta’s acquisition of Solana assembles an elite, life-sciences product development and manufacturing pipeline for precision gene editing.
Inscripta is advancing genomic research by providing a full suite of CRISPR-based genome-editing and tracking technologies to researchers, allowing genome editing of living cells to be simple, efficient, and robust. The company has also developed a unique family of CRISPR enzymes (MADzymes) and is creating additional enzymes, reagents, instruments, and software with improved capabilities for multiple genome-editing applications.
“Inscripta is building the tools to take on the next frontier of gene-editing discoveries. The addition of the Solana team brings world-class scientific product development, manufacturing, and operations experience to further enable Inscripta to provide the best gene-editing tools to both commercial and academic researchers,” said Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta.
Solana Biosciences was founded in 2017 by a team of former Illumina employees that has guided the launch and production of hundreds of products – including market-leading DNA sequencing solutions. During their time at Illumina, Solana’s founders and team members successfully built adaptable and scalable manufacturing operations, enabling the rapid growth of innovative products that today represent billions of dollars in annual revenue.
“Solana is passionate about creating and introducing innovative tools to the life sciences industry. We are excited to join a team of top scientists and developers at Inscripta to further empower researchers in the emerging gene-editing field,” said Tom Rosso, co-founder of Solana Biosciences and former vice president of operations at Illumina. “Together, our team will design, build, and commercialize a new suite of tools that will revolutionize life sciences.”
Following the acquisition, Mr. Rosso will become vice president of operations at Inscripta and will lead the process development, technology transfer, manufacturing, and operations teams at the company. In addition, Inscripta will expand operations and obtain a new office in the life sciences hub of San Diego.
“From my days at Illumina, I know the people behind Solana, and I can say that they will bring unparalleled expertise and experience to Inscripta, helping the company grow, diversify, and scale its operations to meet the rapidly advancing needs of the gene-editing industry,” said John Stuelpnagel, chairman of Inscripta’s board of directors, and co-founder and first CEO of Illumina. “With the addition of Solana’s talent and capabilities, I am confident that Inscripta will fundamentally transform genome writing, just as Illumina did for genome reading.”
Inscripta is a gene-editing technology company that puts researchers in control by making it easy for them to get all they need for cutting-edge, forward cell-engineering. These tools include a family of CRISPR enzymes (called MADzymes), custom nucleases for researchers and commercial partners, and a full suite of gene-editing tools (instruments, reagents, and software) that will significantly increase the speed and efficiency of multiplexed, precision gene editing. By removing the barriers to forward cell-engineering and gene-editing research, Inscripta will usher in a new era of advances to revolutionize how we feed, fuel, and heal humanity.
Inscripta has introduced two unique CRISPR enzymes, MAD7 and MAD2, as part of the company’s own MADzyme family. Recently, the USPTO granted Inscripta patents covering the use of both of the MADzymes in editing systems in multiple cell types, including microbes, plants, and mammalian systems. The company introduced its MAD7 enzyme to commercial and academic researchers with no up-front licensing fees or “reach-through royalties” on products made using the technology. This unique approach was the first step in the company’s path to re-shape forward genome engineering and make it more accessible for the research and commercial community.
Inscripta is led by several genomic technology veterans including CEO Kevin Ness, who co-founded QuantaLife and 10x Genomics, and John Stuelpnagel, the chairman of the company’s board, who was co-founder and first CEO of Illumina (NYSE: ILMN) and chairman of 10x Genomics. Inscripta is headquartered in Boulder, Colo.; has offices in Pleasanton, Calif.; and is backed by Venrock, MLS Capital, NanoDimension, Foresite, Paladin Capital Group, and Mérieux Développement. For more information, visit: www.inscripta.com.