- Foundation of new Arix portfolio company, around pioneering gene editing technology

- Arix will have an ownership stake of 49%* in Twelve Bio

LONDON, 9 March 2021: Arix Bioscience plc (“Arix”, LSE: ARIX) a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies, today announces the foundation of a new portfolio company, Twelve Bio, which is developing novel engineered Cas12a nucleases for therapeutic gene editing. Arix is the sole investor in the company, with a 49% ownership stake.

Twelve Bio is a spinout from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and Creation House programme at BioInnovation Institute (BII), an independent biotech incubator based in Copenhagen accelerating world-class life science research. The company is developing novel gene editing tools based on a deep understanding of the structure of naturally occurring enzymes that bind and cut DNA. Twelve Bio’s aim is to build a gene editing toolbox to target a wide range of genetic disorders and to provide tailored and safe molecules to help patients suffering from incurable diseases. Cas12a is a unique CRISPR nuclease that has several advantages over other gene editing tools, including its small size, high specificity and ability to target sections of DNA not amenable to other Cas nucleases, such as Cas9. Twelve Bio has engineered Cas12a variants with unique properties that improve upon the naturally occurring version and enable genetic editing in a broad range of situations.

The seed financing will allow the company to expand the scientific team and to continue development of their technology. The Arix team will work closely with Twelve Bio as it builds out its operations and management team. Arix holds two seats on Twelve Bio’s board, with Arix’s Managing Director, Christian Schetter, taking the role of Chairman.

“The ability to edit genes has enormous potential both in terms of its range of therapeutic applications and its curative capacity. This new era of transformational therapeutics is still nascent which means there remains a huge opportunity for biotechs with differentiated technology and the right support to develop it. Company creation is a core part of our strategy and we are looking forward to building Twelve Bio with the two founders, Guillermo Montoya and Stefano Stella, into a successful player in a rapidly growing and exciting space.”

Christian Schetter, PhD, Managing Director at Arix and Chairman of Twelve Bio

“Arix’s decision to invest in Twelve Bio underscores the potential of our technology to target DNA sequences linked to genetic disorders that are not accessible with other gene-editing methods. Above all, we share the same vision of building a company with the potential to bring transformational new treatments to patients. We are pleased to welcome Christian as Chairman and grateful for Arix’s considerable support and experience as we look to bring new solutions to patients suffering from incurable diseases.”

Stefano Stella, PhD, Founder & Chief Technology Officer of Twelve Bio

*Arix ownership stake after all current commitments are invested