Emerging biotech secures Dutch and UK funding for intra-cellular engineering technology


NanoSyrinx, an emerging biotechnology company based at Warwick Science Park, which is developing new therapeutic modalities for cell and gene editing, announced the closing of a Pre-Seed financing led by M Ventures (Amsterdam), the corporate venture capital arm of Merck. BioCity, based in Nottingham, and UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund based at Harwell Campus near Oxford also participated in the financing. The company also secured grant funding from the UKI2S Innovate Accelerator and Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA) recently.

NanoSyrinx is the first company to engineer ‘nanosyringes’, a selective non-viral peptide and protein delivery system identified in an undisclosed organism. The company will focus on direct cytosolic delivery of genome editing enzymes and therapeutic proteins in vivo, with key applications in the cell and gene therapy space.

The system was first identified by the Waterfield Lab based at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick. NanoSyrinx Ltd was founded in 2020 following the completion of an extensive international market validation exercise under the ICURe programme, funded by Innovate UK. The platform developed by the team offers a unique combination of features, overcoming challenges such as payload limitations and manufacturing complexities, which has limited the adoption of other intracellular delivery approaches.

CEO Dr Joe Healey, who joined from the Waterfield Lab to lead the company, said, “We believe that our nanosyringe platform will unlock new approaches for the treatment of many intractable diseases and will be of value to a wide range of potential partners and customers. The company is delighted with the early progress made in both in vivo active pharmaceutical delivery and ex vivo cell engineering applications.”

NanoSyrinx’s initial focus will be on the development of its ex vivo gene editing nanosyringe concept, having already engaged with a number of leaders in the cell therapy field.

Dr Arnaud Autret, Investment Principal at M Ventures, who joined the Board, said: “The platform technology underpinning NanoSyrinx has major potential value across a range of Life Sciences areas. We are excited to be part of the venture at this early stage and to help shape a successful future. The team has done excellent work to develop and secure the technology which provides a strong basis for growth. The company’s strong technical foundations will be attractive to new investment partners when it seeks its next equity financing round in Q1 2021 to further support its development.”