Beam Therapeutics, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based developer of a suite of DNA base editing technologies for the treatment of human disease, raised up to $87m in Series A financing.
The round was led by F-Prime Capital Partners and ARCH Venture Partners.
In addition to the funding, Harvard University has granted a worldwide license to Beam Therapeutics to develop and commercialize a suite of DNA base editing technologies for the treatment of human disease. The versatile platform, invented by David R. Liu, PhD, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in his Harvard laboratory, includes access to base editing technologies and associated technologies that enhance the targeting scope of base editing, opens up a wide range of human genetic conditions.
Collaborators in developing the base editing technologies, advanced forms of Cas9, disease-specific applications, and delivery technology include Alexis Komor, Nicole Gaudelli, Yongjoo (Bill) Kim, Holly Rees, Luke Koblan, Juan Pablo Maianti, and Johnny Hao Hu, Liwei Chen, (Ariel) Wei Hsi, and Jonathan Ma Levy, who were all graduate students or postdoctoral fellows in Liu’s Harvard lab.
In addition to his faculty appointment in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Liu holds appointments at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT as the Richard Merkin Professor and Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, Vice-Chair of the Faculty, Core Institute Member, and Director of the Chemical Biology and Therapeutic Sciences Program. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
His lab’s research on base editing was supported in part by DARPA and by the National Institutes of Health.