2021.07.20 PRESS RELEASES
OriCiro Announces ¥1 Billion Series B Financing to Advance Cell-Free DNA Technology for Innovative Therapeutics and Synthetic Biology
July 20, 2021 – Tokyo, OriCiro Genomics, a pioneer in cell-free synthesis and amplification of genome-scale large DNA for advanced therapy and synthetic biology, today announced that it has raised ¥800 million in Series B financing led by The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) with participation of ITOCHU Technology Ventures (ITV). OriCiro has also received a ¥200 million long-term loan from Japan Finance Corporation (JFC), a government-affiliated financial institution, totaling ¥1 billion in this round of financing. The accumulated fund raised since inception becomes ¥1.4 billion.
OriCiro has advanced its business since inception in December 2018 based on company’s proprietary, world’s first cell-free cloning technology for large circular DNA for which conventional PCR methods are not applicable. Major milestones include the launch of our first product, OriCiro Cell-Free Cloning System, that enables cell-free amplification of large circular DNA which eliminates the reliance on E. coli cloning. In addition to the current business of research reagents, OriCiro strives for rapid growth by launching new businesses including plasmid DNA supply for pharmaceutical use and drug discovery services. The proceeds from this financing will be used for strategic purposes including:
- Expanding manufacturing capabilities
- Advancing R&D further
- Establishing a US subsidiary aimed for business growth in the US
- Accelerating patent filing
- Recruiting talents required for above activities
“Cell-free processes are an enabling factor for the development and advancing gene and cell-based therapies and synthetic biology” said Seiji Hirasaki, CEO of OriCiro Genomics. In addition to the lead investor UTEC, OriCiro welcomed ITV as a new investor in this round. “Continued assistance from UTEC and participation by ITV which is backed by one of the largest trading companies in Japan, ITOCHU Corporation, will enable OriCiro to develop and deliver game-changing products and services using its innovative cell-free technology” adds Hirasaki.
“OriCiro owns a promising platform technology that is expected to support the growth of global synthetic biology industry. We look forward to the advancement in the incoming projects like a drug discovery platform” said Atsushi Usami, Ph.D., Partner and Board Director of UTEC.
“OriCiro fits well with ITV’s investment philosophy to invest in small companies that have a high potential to change the world. We will assist at full stretch OriCiro to achieve its corporate goals including making company’s cell-free technology a new global standard for DNA cloning and manufacturing” commented Koji Abe, Senior Vice President and Partner of ITV.
About OriCiro Genomics
OriCiro is focused on the development and commercialization of cell-free synthesis and amplification technology of genome-scale large DNA for applications in gene and cell-based therapies and synthetic biology. OriCiro’s proprietary technology is positioned to unlock the possibility of advanced therapy and synthetic biology by providing a powerful tool used for research, development and manufacturing in multiple industries including pharmaceutical, diagnostics, agriculture and food sectors. The company is located in Tokyo, Japan.