Boulder’s Inscripta buys Solana Biosciences

BOULDER — Inscripta Inc., a gene-editing technology company based in Boulder, has purchased Solana Biosciences Inc., a life-sciences company founded by veterans of Illumina Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN). Inscripta and Solana have joined forces to accelerate the commercialization of Inscripta’s suite of gene-editing technology tools. Inscripta’s acquisition of Solana assembles a life-sciences product development and manufacturing pipeline for precision gene editing.

Inscripta is advancing genomic research by providing CRISPR-based genome-editing and tracking technologies to researchers, allowing genome editing of living cells to be simple and efficient. The company has also developed a family of CRISPR enzymes (MADzymes) and is creating additional enzymes, reagents, instruments, and software with improved capabilities for multiple genome-editing applications.  

“Inscripta is building the tools to take on the next frontier of gene-editing discoveries. The addition of the Solana team brings world-class scientific product development, manufacturing, and operations experience to further enable Inscripta to provide the best gene-editing tools to both commercial and academic researchers,” Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta, said in a prepared statement.

Solana Biosciences, based in Poway, Calif., was founded in 2017 by a team of former Illumina employees that has guided the launch and production of hundreds of products — including DNA-sequencing solutions. During their time at Illumina, Solana’s founders and team members built adaptable and scalable manufacturing operations, enabling the growth of products that today represent billions of dollars in annual revenue.

“Solana is passionate about creating and introducing innovative tools to the life sciences industry. We are excited to join a team of top scientists and developers at Inscripta to further empower researchers in the emerging gene-editing field,” said Tom Rosso, co-founder of Solana Biosciences and former vice president of operations at Illumina. “Together, our team will design, build, and commercialize a new suite of tools that will revolutionize life sciences.”

After the acquisition, Rosso will become vice president of operations at Inscripta and will lead the process development, technology transfer, manufacturing, and operations teams at the company. In addition, Inscripta will expand operations and obtain a new office in the life-sciences hub of San Diego, Calif.

“From my days at Illumina, I know the people behind Solana, and I can say that they will bring unparalleled expertise and experience to Inscripta, helping the company grow, diversify, and scale its operations to meet the rapidly advancing needs of the gene-editing industry,” said John Stuelpnagel, chairman of Inscripta’s board of directors, and co-founder and first CEO of Illumina. “With the addition of Solana’s talent and capabilities, I am confident that Inscripta will fundamentally transform genome writing, just as Illumina did for genome reading.”