RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – GreenLight Biosciences, which has a growing research and development presence in Research Triangle Park, has announced additional financing on its journey to becoming a publicly traded company.
GreenLight is merging with Environmental Impact Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: ENVI), a publicly traded special acquisition company, in a transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The combination will accelerate GreenLight’s development of ribonucleic acid (RNA) products for human health and agriculture.
The two companies said they have raised $124.25 million in PIPE (private investment in public equity) funding that includes a just-announced $10 million strategic investment from Serum Life Sciences, Ltd. The business is a subsidiary of Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., the world’s largest-volume vaccine manufacturer.
GreenLight said it shares a commitment with Serum to make healthcare affordable and accessible. “We are delighted to align with Serum Life Sciences through this investment in our future as a public company,” said GreenLight co-founder and CEO Andrey Zarur, Ph.D. “The Serum Institute has a long history of delivering vaccines at scale and is playing a pivotal role in the global fight against COVID-19.”
Co-founder and CEO Andrey Zarur , Ph.D. — GreenLight photo
This most recent investment is under the same terms as the approximately $105 million PIPE financing announced in August, according to GreenLight and Environmental Impact Acquisition. Like other PIPE investors, Serum Life Sciences will acquire stock in the new company at $10 a share.
Other PIPE investors include Fall Line Capital and Viceroy Capital, S2G Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Morningside Venture Investments, Hudson Bay Capital, BNP Paribas Ecosystem Restoration Fund, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Continental Grain Company, Pura Vida Investments LLC, Xeraya Capital, and MLS Fund II/Spruce.
In addition to PIPE financing, Environmental Impact Acquisition has $207 million held in trust to help fund the operations and product development priorities of the new company.
GreenLight was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Medford, MA, near Boston. Its mission is to address some of the world’s biggest problems by delivering the full potential of RNA. The company’s cell-free RNA manufacturing platform, which is protected by numerous patents, allows for cost-effective and scalable production of RNA for a variety of applications across agriculture and human health.
The technology can build RNA strands that precisely target specific genes in plants, animals or fungi, beneficially suppressing the activity of those genes. GreenLight expects to register its first product, an RNA-based agent to control the Colorado potato beetle, with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2022.
On the human health front, GreenLight is developing a messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics platform to cost-effectively address global needs. The company’s lead vaccine programs include candidates for COVID-19 and influenza.
GreenLight has about 250 employees. That includes 44 in RTP who are focused on bioinformatics, genomics, screening and formulations to support both plant and human health applications. The company expects its number of employees in North Carolina to nearly double within the next two years