Hampton, UK – 11 March 2021 – Touchlight, a biotechnology company focused on enzymatic DNA production to enable the genetic medicine revolution, today announces a £42 million fundraising round led by Bridford Investments Limited. The round builds upon Touchlight’s funding strategy to date, focused on a network of ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and specialist healthcare investors.
The proceeds will allow the Company to more than triple its manufacturing footprint, and increase capacity to up to 1 kilogram of GMP DNA per month once fully operational in Q1 2022, enabling Touchlight to address commercial demand for mRNA vaccines.
Touchlight has developed a unique synthetic DNA vector, called dbDNA™ (“doggybone DNA”), with multiple advantages over traditional plasmid DNA manufacture. GMP dbDNA can be produced more rapidly than pDNA (weeks versus months) and is produced with equipment in a significantly smaller footprint, enabling simple scale up of DNA production.
The addition of 11 new state-of-the-art DNA production suites at Touchlight’s unique London premises, a converted Victorian Waterworks building, will bring the total to 15. The benchtop scale of the technology means the total facility footprint will be 7,500 sq ft, a fraction of the space required by conventional bioreactor-based plasmid DNA manufacture. The investment will also allow the creation of up to 60 jobs.
Touchlight’s CDMO arm, Touchlight DNA Services, already supplies GMP materials to leading players in the genetic medicines industry and the Company expects significant further growth across viral vectors, cell therapy, mRNA and DNA vaccines.
Jonny Ohlson, Executive Chairman of Touchlight, said: “We are delighted to build relationships with top-class investors that allow us to access significant capital to help us continue to scale our business in these transformational times for the genetic medicine industry.”
Karen Fallen, CEO of Touchlight DNA Services, commented: “The genetic medicine industry is booming, and we don’t expect any slowing down of demand. Availability of plasmid DNA has become a bottleneck which we are ideally positioned to address. The expansion of our infrastructure and facilities will enable us to offer an unprecedented level of capacity to drive the genetic medicine revolution forward.”
Touchlight is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in London, U.K., focused on enzymatic DNA production to enable the genetic medicine revolution, including DNA and mRNA vaccines in addition to cell and gene therapies. Touchlight has developed a novel, synthetic DNA vector known as “doggybone” or dbDNA™.
dbDNA™ is a minimal, linear, covalently closed structure, that eliminates bacterial sequences. Touchlight’s revolutionary enzymatic production platform enables unprecedented speed, scale, and the ability to produce genes with a size and complexity that is impossible with current technologies.
Touchlight is enabling companies across the genetic medicine industry. The company provides contract development and manufacturing capabilities to produce dbDNA as a critical starting material and active pharmaceutical ingredient for use in advanced therapies.
About Bridford Investments Limited
Bridford Investments Limited is part of Bridford Group, an investment group which deploys its proprietary capital in a range of sectors, including biotech and life sciences (investments include Hudson River Biotechnology, Meatable, LenioBio and Solar Foods). Bridford Group’s focus is on backing founder-led businesses with long-term growth potential, ideally those concerned with societal or environmental welfare.
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