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Dartmouth engineering graduate secures funding for bioinformatics startup

Sep 10, 2013   |   Desktop Genetics

Riley Doyle
Riley Doyle Th'08

Founded by Riley Doyle Th'08, Desktop Genetics Ltd (DeskGen)—a UK bioinformatics company aiming to revolutionize the way genetic engineers work together—announced that it has secured an equity investment of £275,000. The investment comes from Boundary Capital Ltd, Execute Technologies Inc, and angel investors Richard Youngman, Michael Martin (both of Anvil Partners LLP), Dr Jonathan Milner (CEO, AbCam Plc) and Dr Darrin M Disley (CEO, Horizon Discovery Ltd). The receipt of the investment further unlocks a Technology Strategy Board grant for an additional £100,000, bringing the total funds raised to £375,000. DeskGen has also announced the appointment of Dr Darrin M Disley as non-executive chairman.

"At Thayer, I studied biochemical engineering as a BE student with Professor Tillman Gerngross and worked in his laboratory. In hindsight, I think both his mentorship and the emphasis Thayer places on interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial thinking has been tremendously helpful in starting my own company, where every day I have to 'wear many hats.' Prior to Thayer, I had no programming experience. My ability to start a software company today is directly due to the requirement that every Thayer grad learn how to program and that the BE program was flexible enough to allow me to take bioinformatics with the CS department during my final term." —Riley Doyle

DeskGen is developing AutoClone™, a new DNA research engine that enables the optimal design, construction, management and exchange of DNA constructs to be used for vector/plasmid manufacturing, genome-editing, protein production and synthetic biology work-flows. AutoClone is a bioinformatics platform and database that works by sourcing the DNA sequences needed to build any new DNA specified by the user. These DNA sequences may come from the user’s own freezer, from another lab within their organization, or even public repositories. In sourcing the sequence information, AutoClone enhances research productivity by reducing the lengthy and expensive process by which DNA is synthesized externally (4-6 weeks by CRO) or internally (5-6 hours by expert scientists). DNA sequence, inventory, management and sharing functions enable the rapid and accurate assembly of sequences into validated molecular biology tools...

...Riley Doyle, CEO and founder of DeskGen, commenting on the close of the investment said: “AutoClone™ is a DNA design tool combined with a search engine that generates error-free protocols for researchers to recycle existing DNA and make the genes upon which the trillion pound Life Science industry depends. By crowdsourcing the constructs that researchers need, we believe the platform can save up to six million man-hours per year across the entire biotech domain. I am very happy we have been able to secure this investment which will enable us to move the business forward rapidly.”

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