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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Replay Launches With $55M Seed Round


Replay, a biotech firm with dual headquarters in San Diego and London, has emerged from stealth with $55 million in seed financing to advance its platform for writing genomics and reprogramming biology.

Although founded just two years ago, Replay has already built up an impressive portfolio of technologies that increase payload delivery of genomic medicines; improve production speed, volume and consistency; and expand the potential for genome engineering.

Adrian Woolfson
Chair, President and Co-Founder

“Genomic medicine has the potential to transform the future of clinical therapeutics,” said Replay Executive Chair, President and Co-founder Adrian Woolfson.

Woolfson, an alumnus of major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and most recently Sangamo Therapeutics Inc., will head Replay’s San Diego operations, including R&D.

“Over my three decades of experience working in clinical medicine, academia, and the biopharmaceutical industry, it has become clear that we require a more robust and comprehensive toolkit of molecular genetic platform technologies to solve biology’s most complex problems and realize its full therapeutic potential,” he said.

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Genomic Toolkit

Replay’s genomic medicine toolkit comprises several technology platforms. One utilizes a modified herpes simplex virus (HSV) to deliver up to 30 times the genomic medicine payload of standard adeno-associated virus (AAV) technologies. The HSV tech can delver large genes and multiple genes which could lead to polygenic gene therapy in treating complex polygenic neurodegenerative diseases with no single genetic cause.

Other technologies include a genomically rewritten stem cell source for regenerative medicines and therapies that is universal and renewable; a genome writing platform for creating low-cost libraries of synthetic genes and DNA; and an inference algorithm platform for rewriting proteins to optimize their functionality.

Nick Haft
Managing Director
OMX Ventures

“Replay has assembled an impressive portfolio of step-change technologies to propel the field of genomic medicine forward,” said Nick Haft, managing director at OMX Ventures, who co-led the financing round, along with KKR.

Haft also serves as a board observer at Replay and KKR Managing Director Kugan Sathiyanandarajah is a board member.

Kugan Sathiyanandarajah
Managing Director

“Replay’s mission is to create a world-leading company that develops and owns the tools to reprogram biology by writing and delivering big DNA; we believe these capabilities will unlock the largest untapped opportunity in medicine,” Sathiyanandarajah said. “Replay has tremendous entrepreneurial experience within the Company, as well as a team of seasoned industry players to guide the development of the platform technologies and product companies to bring new treatments to patients.”


Hub-and-Spoke Model

Besides innovating new genomic medicine platforms, Replay is also innovating the way platforms translate over to commercial businesses. The company has taken a “hub-and-spoke business model” approach that separates technology development from product development from therapeutic product development within disease area-specific product companies.

Each product company is co-founded by seasoned entrepreneurs in conjunction with leaders in each therapeutic area.

Replay has already established four gene therapy product companies based on its HSV technology that treat monogenic diseases affecting the skin, eye, brain and muscle. Another company uses Replay tech to write and optimize enzymes.

Lachlan MacKinnon
CEO and Co-founder

“Technology and product development have different talent requirements, timelines, costs and cultures. By separating technology development from product development, we have generated a model to accommodate these differences,” said Replay CEO and Co-founder Lachlan MacKinnon, who will head up Replay’s London office. “Our ability to write and deliver big DNA has the potential to disrupt many areas of genomic medicine. We have the right team, corporate structure, portfolio of technology platforms, and financial backing to build an enduring company that shapes the future of the industry.”

Joining KKR and OMX Ventures in the $55 million seed round was ARTIS Ventures and Lansdowne Partners, SALT, Axial and DeciBio Ventures, a spin-out VC of Los Angeles-based life sciences consulting firm DeciBio who made its debut investment with Replay.


Founded: 2020
CEO: Lachlan MacKinnon
Headquarters: San Diego and London
Business: Genomics medicine platform technologies
Employees: 40
Website: replay.bio
Notable: Replay CEO Lachlan MacKinnon was a member of the founding team at Oxford Science Enterprises.


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