Constructive Bio launches with 15M seed investment to re-engineer biology

Constructive Bio announces its launch as a new UK-based biotechnology company following the completion of a $15m seed round and an exclusive license from the Medical Research Council (MRC), to IP developed by Professor Jason Chin’s Laboratory (Chin Lab) at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB).

The Chin Lab has pioneered the development and application of methods for reprogramming the genetic code of living organisms, rewriting the near-universal genetic code of natural life to create organisms that use new genetic codes. The new organisms deliver remarkable properties: they are resistant to a wide variety of viruses, they can be programmed to make new unnatural, or synthetic, polymers, and even perform entirely new functions. 

The Company, which is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, is based upon two core proprietary platform technologies:

• Large scale DNA assembly – to construct large chunks of DNA at unprecedented scale e.g., whole bacterial genomes can be built from scratch; and

• Genome reprogramming – to systematically recode whole genomes to engineer unnatural products for commercial applications. 

Together, the MRC technologies will be used by Constructive Bio to synthesise polymers with non-natural amino acids for commercial applications across a range of industries including novel therapeutics and antibiotics, enhanced agriculture, manufacturing, and materials.

In addition, the new organisms’ phage resistance can be used to increase bio-manufacturing yields. Further, novel polymers can be designed with the ability to breakdown and recycle the monomers to support a circular, sustainable economy, offering approaches to transform industries such as the c.$750bn global polymers market, and help overcome global challenges such as climate change to benefit the planet and mankind. 

Professor Jason Chin, FMedSci, FRS, Programme Leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Chief Scientific Officer of Constructive Bio said: “Over the last 20 years, we have created a cellular factory that we can reliably and predictably programme to create new polymers. The range of applications for this technology is vast – using our approach we have already been able to programme cells to make new molecules including from an important class of drugs and to programme cells to make completely synthetic polymers containing the chemical linkages found in biodegradable plastics.

Now is the right time to commercialise these technologies. I am pleased that we have attracted significant support and seed funding to establish Constructive Bio and capture this opportunity. By taking inspiration from nature and reimagining what life can become we have the opportunity to build the sustainable industries of the future.” 

The Company is led by recently appointed Chief Executive Officer and Board member Dr Ola Wlodek, former Chief Operating Officer at Resolution Therapeutics. Ola brings more than 15 years of biopharma and R&D experience having previously worked on natural products biosynthesis and unnatural peptide cyclisation.

Dr Ola Wlodek, CEO of Constructive Bio said: “I am excited to join Constructive Bio at inception and work with Jason to commercialise this ground-breaking research. The technologies use biology to access novel chemical space and generate polymers with a wide range of commercial applications across multiple industries, with an initial focus on bioproduction where our technology has significant commercial value in the near term.”

The Company was set-up with support from Ahren’s Commercial Engine and with Ahren Science Partner input. The substantial seed round was led by Ahren alongside Amadeus Capital Partners, General Inception and OMX Ventures. The funding will be used to build out the technology platforms for commercial application, including assembling synthetic genomes and synthesis of non-natural polymers using bacterial strains.

Matthew Newcombe-Ellis, Operating Partner, Ahren Commercial Engine, said: “We are delighted to support Jason and the Constructive team in commercialising these breakthrough technologies. With highly valuable near-term applications and transformational potential across a wide range of industries in the medium term, we believe it is important to establish Constructive with the resources and tools to fully capture this value. We look forward to working with the company, its commercial partners, the MRC, and our co-investors, all of whom have provided key contributions, to deliver on this substantial opportunity over the coming years.”

Pierre Socha, Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, added: “If we think of cellular biosystems as biological factories, we need to be able to write the cell’s operating system in a rapid, accurate and affordable way. The foundational challenge then becomes how to write the DNA of whole living organisms, from scratch, to optimise the manufacturing of these bioproducts. And that’s what Constructive Bio is going after. By creating tools that allow us to design and program cells, we will address issues from protein-based therapeutic design, industrial and environmental sustainability, food and agriculture, to consumer care and electronics.

Startup Details

Startup Details


Constructive Bio

Pioneering building entirely synthetic genomes & for reprogramming the genetic code of living organisms for programmable polymer synthesis.

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