11 March 2021

Touchlight raises £42 million ($58 million) to meet unprecedented global DNA demand

Touchlight raises £42 million ($58 million) to meet unprecedented global DNA demand

  • Completed facility will have capacity to manufacture up to 1 kg GMP DNA per month, enough for more than 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses
  • Company’s growth driven by exceptional demand in all areas of genetic medicine, including mRNA and viral vectors for Covid-19 vaccines
  • Touchlight’s synthetic dbDNA enables faster, more reliable production and scale-up than incumbent plasmid DNA approach
Hampton, UK – 11 March 2021

Touchlight, a biotechnology company focused on enzymatic DNA production to enable the genetic medicine revolution, today announces a £42 million fundraising round led by Bridford Investments Limited. The round builds upon Touchlight’s funding strategy to date, focused on a network of ultra-high net worth individuals, family offices and specialist healthcare investors.

The proceeds will allow the Company to more than triple its manufacturing footprint, and increase capacity to up to 1 kilogram of GMP DNA per month once fully operational in Q1 2022, enabling Touchlight to address commercial demand for mRNA vaccines.

Touchlight has developed a unique synthetic DNA vector, called dbDNA™ (“doggybone DNA”), with multiple advantages over traditional plasmid DNA manufacture. GMP dbDNA can be produced more rapidly than pDNA (weeks versus months) and is produced with equipment in a significantly smaller footprint, enabling simple scale up of DNA production.

The addition of 11 new state-of-the-art DNA production suites at Touchlight’s unique London premises, a converted Victorian Waterworks building, will bring the total to 15. The benchtop scale of the technology means the total facility footprint will be 7,500 sq ft, a fraction of the space required by conventional bioreactor-based plasmid DNA manufacture. The investment will also allow the creation of up to 60 jobs.

Touchlight’s CDMO arm, Touchlight DNA Services, already supplies GMP materials to leading players in the genetic medicines industry and the Company expects significant further growth across viral vectors, cell therapy, mRNA and DNA vaccines.

Jonny Ohlson, Executive Chairman of Touchlight, said: “We are delighted to build relationships with top-class investors that allow us to access significant capital to help us continue to scale our business in these transformational times for the genetic medicine industry.”

Karen Fallen, CEO of Touchlight DNA Services, commented: “The genetic medicine industry is booming, and we don’t expect any slowing down of demand. Availability of plasmid DNA has become a bottleneck which we are ideally positioned to address. The expansion of our infrastructure and facilities will enable us to offer an unprecedented level of capacity to drive the genetic medicine revolution forward.”

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About Touchlight

Touchlight is a privately-owned biotechnology company based in London, U.K., focussed on the discovery and development of DNA-based genetic medicines, including DNA vaccines and gene therapies. Touchlight has developed a novel, synthetic DNA vector known as “doggybone” or dbDNA™.

dbDNA™ is a minimal, linear, covalently closed structure, that eliminates bacterial sequences. Touchlight’s revolutionary enzymatic production platform enables unprecedented speed, scale, and the ability to target genes with a size and complexity that is impossible with current technologies.

Touchlight is applying dbDNA across advanced therapeutic modalities, both in-house and with partners. The company also provides contract manufacturing capabilities to produce dbDNA as a critical starting material for advanced therapy production through its manufacturing arm, Touchlight DNA Services.

Issued for and on behalf of Touchlight by Instinctif Partners.

For more information please contact:

Jonny Ohlson, CEO Tim Watson / Agnes Stephens /
Tommy Duncan, CBO Katie Duffell
E: info@touchlight.com E: touchlight@instinctif.com
T: +44 20 8481 9200 T: +44 20 7457 2020