Harvard offshoot 64x Bio nets $55M in series A funding to expand cell production tech

64x Bio, a fledgling synthetic cell and gene therapy manufacturer, brought in $55 million in a series A round of fundraising.

The company, which has about 10 employees and was founded in 2020 out of the Harvard Department of Genetics, is focused on addressing cell and gene therapy manufacturing shortfalls highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds from the round will be used to build out the group’s cell line engineering platform dubbed VectorSelect and to hire more employees. The company hopes its technology will yield improved cell lines for a gamut of gene therapies.

64x Bio says the technology can map millions of unique cellular genotypes to individual vector production phenotypes to allow the collection of millions of candidate cell lines simultaneously. The data are then run through 64x Bio’s CellMap database to help speed cell line development, the company said.

“We aim to become the leading developer of vector manufacturing cell lines to revolutionize the economics of gene therapy and the reach of these lifesaving medicines to patients,” Alexis Rovner, co-founder and CEO of 64x Bio, said in a statement.

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The round was led by Life-force Capital. Additional investors included Northpond Ventures, from Aldevron chief executive Michael Chambers, Future Ventures and First Round Capital. Other investors were Chris Gibson of Recursion, Alex Ventures, Fifty Years, SV Angel, BoxGroup and Refactor Capital.