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1 August 2014

Oxford Genetics snaps $507,000

Backed by Mercia Fund Management, a third of the funding comes from the TSB Smart Award.

Author: Thierry Heles, reporter

Oxford Genetics, a biotech specialising in synthetic DNA, has secured £300,000 ($507,000) in funding. Previous investor Mercia Fund Management has invested £200,000 ($338,000), while a further £100,000 ($169,000) are from the TSB Smart Award, which recognises excellency in pharmacy.

The company previously secured £150,000 ($256,000) from Mercia in June 2013.

Oxford Genetics is based on research by Len Seymour, professor at Oxford University’s Department of Oncology, and Ryan Cawood. Its lead product is SnapFast, which allows a simplified purchase of synthetic DNA molecules. Cawood has referred to the product as “Lego for DNA”, as researchers can buy standard DNA components without having to worry about the pieces not fitting together – historically an element of frustration when buying from different sources.

Since June 2013, the company has expanded its range of DNA molecules from 200 to more than 1,600, and created a web tool that lets researchers design and build sequences. The startup now also has partnerships with a global distributor and companies in 30 countries, including Germany, Japan, the US and Canada.

Ryan Cawood, founder of Oxford Genetics, said: “With this additional funding we will look to increase our product range further, invest adding new functionality to the website, and extend our marketing efforts. We are very pleased to have Mercia Fund Management on board. As a technology investor, they provide not only finance but also strategic advice and business support.”

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