Kunwoo Lee, GenEdit CEO

Eli Lil­ly gets be­hind the lat­est ap­proach to solv­ing gene ther­a­py's de­liv­ery prob­lem

Kun­woo Lee was a grad­u­ate stu­dent at UC-Berke­ley when gene edit­ing pi­o­neer Jen­nifer Doud­na — who hap­pened to work in the same build­ing where he stud­ied — pub­lished a pa­per on CRISPR/Cas9. So he did what any as­pir­ing bio­engi­neer would do: He ran to her lab, and grabbed a post­doc there.

“We start­ed re­al­ly think­ing about the fu­ture com­ing (for) gene ther­a­py and gene edit­ing,” he said.

Lee’s re­search with Doud­na led him to co-found a small San Fran­cis­co-based biotech called GenEd­it in 2016, the same year he grad­u­at­ed. Af­ter five qui­et years, the team is now un­veil­ing a $26 mil­lion Se­ries A round with sup­port from some big names like Eli Lil­ly to fund their work on one of the most press­ing chal­lenges in gene ther­a­py: what Lee calls the “de­liv­ery prob­lem.”

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