Clue Genetics Acquires Rare Fungus Collection

Posted: 9th May 2022 12:11

Clue Genetics Inc. (Clue) has announced its acquisition of certain R&D assets of Mycosynthetix, Inc. (MSX), including its proprietary collection of approximately 50,000 diverse strains of fungi.

The acquisition brings together Clue’s expertise in genomics and computational biology with MSX’s complementary capabilities in fungal biology, natural product chemistry and pharmacology. Following the deal, MSX’s CEO, Dr. Cedric Pearce, will serve as President of Clue and will sit on its Board of Directors. Dr. OIiver Ratcliffe will continue as Clue’s Executive Chairman.

Dr. Pearce commented, “Fungi are an ancient group of organisms that have, over the past billion years or so, evolved incredible metabolic potential to produce a vast array of complex molecules and enzymes. These have valuable applications as medicines, anti-infectives, for agriculture and nutrition, and even offer the potential to combat pollution and climate change. Clue has strong capabilities in AI-driven genome mining and can identify the sets of genes needed to efficiently make these valuable compounds, at scale, in fermentation microbes. Access to the diverse fungal library from MSX is a game-changer, as it allows Clue’s bioinformaticians to train proprietary algorithms that are specific to fungi and which efficiently identify the most valuable sets of genes.”

“The deal unlocks significant synergies,” noted Dr. Ratcliffe, Co-Founder of Clue. “Clue’s team has decades of experience in genomics and building successful businesses in this field, while MSX is expert in mycology and fungal metabolites. Several high-profile start-ups have raised substantial amounts of investor capital in recent years, with the intent of developing new drugs from fungi. However, the opportunity is still virtually untapped and offers vast potential to deliver solutions for many of our global challenges.”

Dr. Ratcliffe added, “The MSX library is a truly unique living resource, which cannot be recapitulated, having been collected from a wide range of unusual ecosystems spanning all six continents in the 1980s. With its access to this proprietary collection, Clue now has a strong competitive advantage and is building a foundation of intellectual property that will support the development of many different types of end products.”

Going forward, Clue will maintain its headquarters and computational capabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area to take advantage of the Silicon Valley ecosystem but will operate its wet-lab facilities in the Research Triangle Park area, North Carolina. The deal price has not been disclosed.

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