Synthetic Biofuel Bet: OPX Biotechnologies Raises $3.6M

opx.jpgDoes the future of clean fuel rest on genomics? Craig Venter isn’t the only one that thinks so. OPX Biotechnologies, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup just a few months old, is also working on genetically modifying microbes for biofuel production. And this morning the company said that it has raised $3.6 million in a Series A venture round led by Mohr Davidow Ventures.

Like its competitors LS9, Venter’s Synthetic Genomics and Amyris Biotechnologies, OPX is also confident that its synthetic biotechnology approach is the most efficient and economic to deliver the next generation of biofuels. In phone interviews, new CEO Rob Chess and MDV venture partner Erik Straser explained the technology as a speedy full genome search and gene modification technology platform that is 1,000 to 5,000 times faster than conventional methods.

Chess said the funding will help the company optimize the microbes it’s working on. For now, the technology is still in the lab phase, but eventually the company wants to produce its own biofuel, as well as apply the genetic process to other industries like health care.

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