Invenra Advancing Its Cell-Free Antibody Tech With $2M in New Cash

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Invenra has raised just over $2 million from investors that it will use to further develop its cell-free protein expression technology, a new SEC filing shows.

The Madison, WI-based biotech startup has now raised $6.2 million total from investors since 2012, according to SEC documents.

Invenra plans to put the new money toward research and development expenses and paying the management team, the SEC filing says. Invenra CEO Roland Green wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Invenra, which Xconomy profiled in November, is led by a team with ties to NimbleGen Systems, the former Madison-based DNA microarray maker that Roche bought in 2007 for $272.5 million. Green was a NimbleGen co-founder, and three of Invenra’s four board directors are former NimbleGen executives.

Invenra is one of the companies developing a way to make antibodies without using genetically modified cells such as E. coli or Chinese hamster ovary cells as the factories—a departure from the current standard. CA-based Sutro Biopharma is another company working on similar technology.

So far, Invenra has focused its business on providing services to drug developers, but Green said in November that the company has not ruled out developing its own therapeutics in-house. That would likely require much larger sums of money from traditional venture capital investors.

Invenra’s end game is to be acquired, Green has said.