NAPIGEN has Announced $7.85M in Seed Funding for Gene Editing Technology

Delaware-based NAPIGEN, an ag-tech and genetics startup, has successfully raised $7.85 million in an initial seed funding round. The company, which operates out of the Delaware Innovation Space at the DuPont Experimental Station in Alapocas, has had a series of successes recently, including an NIH SBIR grant back in June.

The seed funding comes from a private stock sale led by The Grantham Foundation and RA Capital Management. The company intends to use the funding to apply its mitochondrial gene editing tech for hybrid seed production in wheat and rice. The technology can also be used to develop mitochondrial expression systems for use in plant mitochondria.

NAPIGEN’s technology has unique gene editing capabilities specializing in altering cytoplasmic genomes including mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA. NAPIGEN previously demonstrated use of CRISPR technology for genome editing of organellar DNA in yeast and algae.

The company was founded with the intention of addressing the global food shortage. With a growing population and increasing demand for food, products like grains are essential to feed the world.

“This can only be possible with breaking the biological yield limit of crop plants, which is exactly what we are aiming to do. Yield increases benefit both agriculture and environmental protection by reducing the need for deforestation to create new farmland, as well as decreasing the use of agricultural chemicals” said Dr. Hajime Sakai, co-founder and CEO at NAPIGEN. 

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