Pencil Biosciences Secures £5.6 Million Funding for Innovative Gene Editing Technology

September 28, 2023

Author: Karan Bodh
Pencil Biosciences Secures £5.6 Million Funding for Innovative Gene Editing Technology

Pencil Biosciences, a UK-based gene editing and modulation tech startup, has secured an impressive £5.6 million in Seed funding to advance its groundbreaking non-CRISPR gene editing platform. The startup, founded in 2019 by Dr. Rajik Ibrahim, Dr. Timothy Schulz-Utermoehl, and Dr. Martin Quibell, aims to revolutionise therapeutic solutions for rare diseases and cancer treatments.

The company, now led by CEO Dr. Amanda Smith, has ambitious plans to enhance its proprietary editing and modulation technology. This technology stands out for its modular design, non-CRISPR composition, and compact size compared to traditional Cas-based gene editing technologies.

Pencil Biosciences' successful funding round saw participation from both new and existing investors. Notable contributors include Octopus Ventures, Northern Gritstone, Martlet Capital, and existing backers like the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Science Fund managed by Catapult Ventures, UKI2S, Jonathan Milner (Meltwind), and o2h Ventures. SyndicateRoom’s Access Enterprise Investment Scheme also provided additional support.

Amanda Smith, CEO of Pencil Biosciences, expressed the company's vision, stating, "Our ambition is to develop a truly innovative and unique gene modulation technology that catalyses innovation across a range of applications, including new therapeutic options for patients with rare diseases and cancer. This investment brings us closer to achieving our goals."

The startup, based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, is focused on developing gene editing technology applicable to various fields, including cell line engineering, novel diagnostics, and agriculture. Their proprietary technology holds promise for addressing a spectrum of diseases, including cancer, genetic disorders, and rare diseases.

The investors in Pencil Biosciences' seed funding round also shared their enthusiasm for the company's potential impact. Duncan Johnson, CEO at Northern Gritstone, highlighted the significance of supporting innovative technology platforms that have the potential to transform treatment for patients with rare diseases.

Oliver Sims, an investor at Octopus Ventures, expressed excitement about supporting Pencil Biosciences, stating, "Octopus are really excited to back Pencil Biosciences and their experienced team to deliver the next generation technology for gene editing. There is huge potential in the technology to impact therapeutics, research tools and industrial applications."

The company's technology goes beyond the realm of therapeutics. Pencil Biosciences envisions the versatile application of its gene modulation technology in areas such as infectious disease treatment, novel diagnostics, and innovation in agriculture and cell line engineering.

In conclusion, Pencil Biosciences' successful Seed funding round marks a significant milestone for the UK gene editing startup. With the support of investors, the company is well-positioned to further develop its innovative gene modulation technology and potentially revolutionize the landscape of therapeutic solutions for various diseases. As Pencil Biosciences moves forward, the world awaits the transformative impact of their pioneering work in the field of gene editing and modulation.