SeQure Dx, a gene-editing diagnostics company, announced today a $17.5 million Series A funding led by RiverVest Venture Partners and Mass General Brigham Ventures along with Digitalis Ventures, Casdin Capital, KdT Ventures, Bold Capital Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments. Funds will be used for initial company development leading to establishment of a full-service laboratory providing off-target gene-editing analysis for use in drug development, clinical trials and ultimately patient evaluation prior to therapy.
SeQure Dx was founded on exclusive licensure of GUIDE-seq, ONE-seq and related assay technologies for detection of off-target gene-editing events. These assays were developed by J. Keith Joung, MD, PhD, the Robert B. Colvin, MD, Endowed Chair in Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues from the MGH Department of Pathology. Dr. Joung is a scientific founder of SeQure Dx and chair of the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. SeQure plans to expand its offerings via internal development, partnership, and further licensure.
“Methods for defining potential off-target effects of gene-editing technologies play an important role in advancing these modalities for the benefit of patients,” said Dr. Joung, who is also a professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. “I am excited about the possibilities presented by making off-target assay capabilities accessible to those who seek to develop gene-editing therapeutics.”
Ellen Sheets, MD, MBA, CEO of SeQure Dx, called it an “honor” to be supported by such a strong base of investors who share a goal of further developing the company. “Our Scientific Advisory Board, led by Dr. Joung, as well as our internal expertise will guide us on the development of our assay portfolio,” Dr. Sheets said. “The SeQure Dx technologies, which are already being used by several gene-editing therapy companies, coupled with sequencing patients’ individual genomes, will offer comprehensive risk assessment of the impact of genomic variation on off-target effects.”
Nancy Hong, PhD, managing director at RiverVest Venture Partners said: “RiverVest is thrilled to participate in this transformative technology arena. SeQure Dx is uniquely positioned to aid gene-editing innovators in providing safe patient access to novel treatments, and we are pleased to support SeQure Dx through this accelerated growth period.”
Carl Berke, PhD, a partner at Mass General Brigham Ventures, said, “Mass General Brigham Ventures has the privilege of supporting the development of this important contribution to the future of cell and gene therapy through the dedicated efforts of SeQure Dx.”
About RiverVest Venture Partners
RiverVest is a leading venture capital firm building life science companies to address significant unmet needs of patients and deliver consistently strong results to investors. For more information, please visit www.rivervest.com.
About Mass General Brigham Ventures
Mass General Brigham Ventures is an early-stage venture firm focused on investing in new life science technologies that emerge from the hospitals within the Mass General Brigham research community. Founded in 2008, the firm has over $450 million in capital under management with a mission to bring bench-to-bedside innovations to market to solve unmet medical needs for the benefit of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.massgeneralbrighamventures.com.