Moderna to acquire Japanese biotech firm OriCiro Genomics for $85m

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Moderna has agreed to acquire OriCiro Genomics, a Japanese biotech firm involved in developing cell-free synthesis and amplification of plasmid DNAs for applications in gene or cell-based therapies and synthetic biology.

The consideration to be paid by the American biotech company for the acquisition is $85 million.

Moderna believes that the synthetic biology and enzyme technologies of OriCiro will underpin its portfolio of and therapeutics. Besides, the acquisition will strengthen its suite of platform technologies, said Moderna.

Nasir Kato Bashiruddin — OriCiro CEO said: “Moderna has demonstrated remarkable speed and ability to impact lives through their innovative platform and therapeutics. I am confident that our technology and talent will be a highly strategic fit with Moderna.”

Moderna acquisition of OriCiro Genomics

Moderna acquisition of OriCiro Genomics. Photo courtesy of Fletcher/Wiki

OriCiro was established in late 2018 and is headquartered in Tokyo.

In June 2022, OriCiro secured an undisclosed amount in a Series B2 round from Asahi Kasei Medical. The former’s first product is OriCiro Cell-Free Cloning System, which is designed to facilitate cell-free amplification of large circular DNA which removes the dependance on E. coli cloning.

Stéphane Bancel — Moderna CEO, commenting on Moderna acquisition of OriCiro Genomics, said: “With this acquisition, we obtain -in-class tools for cell-free synthesis and amplification of plasmid DNA, a key building block in manufacturing.

“OriCiro’s technology strategically complements our manufacturing expertise and further accelerates our research and development engine. We look forward to welcoming the OriCiro team to Moderna.”

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