The startup Editas Medicine want to tackle grave illnesses by removing our defective genes, and plan to use the recently raised capital to study a new technology that could finally make this feasible.
The lead investor is BngO, managed by Microsoft’s former science adviser Boris Nikolic. Bill Gates is confirmed as one of the investors, as is Google’s venture capital arm Google Ventures.
The tool Editas is studying is a gene-editing system known as CRISPR-Cas9, a protein which can cut and paste DNA. In other words, scientists could select faulty genes and replace them with healthy ones.
Other investors behind the $120m include T. Rowe Price, Deerfield Management, Viking Global Investors, Jennison Associates, Fidelity Management and Research, Casdin Capital, Khosla Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Omega Funds, Alexandria Venture Investments and Cowen Private investments.
This is the third and largest investment in Editas, as the company previously received $43m in 2013, and $47m earlier this year.
The lastest funds, $120m, will keep the company running for three years, according to Forbes.