Touchlight scored another $125 million to boost manufacturing as the company looks to become a leading synthetic DNA producer for genetic medicines.
The cell and gene therapy space has exploded in the last few years, and, as a result, Touchlight has seen demand spike for its synthetic DNA vector dbDNA.
The latest fundraising round, supported by Bridford Investments Limited and Novator Partners, will be used to expand the scale of Touchlight’s Hampton, U.K., facility, the company said. The investment will allow the company to produce up to 1 kilogram of GMP DNA per month once the expansion is operational in the second quarter of next year.
Additionally, Touchlight said it is on path to expand its team from 65 to more than 125 by the end of this year. That number will include dedicated commercial and marketing teams in the U.K. and North America.
“As the market for genetic medicines continues to expand at pace, we believe our dbDNA technology can be a key enabler of the industry, combining our revolutionary DNA manufacturing solution with a vector that sets a new regulatory gold standard,” Jonny Ohlson, Touchlight’s executive chair, said in a statement.
Touchlight previously showed the industry its determination for expansion with the hire last October of Karen Fallen, a former biologics manufacturing head at Lonza. Fallen came on board as the CEO of Touchlight DNA Services, the company’s contract manufacturing business for synthetic DNA used in mRNA vaccines and cell and gene therapies.
The company has been focused on DNA vaccine development for COVID-19 and head and neck cancer, and is a participant in synthetic DNA-based antibody research with Vanderbilt University and with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.