Cyrus Biotech raises $8M for protein toolkit

Cyrus Bench on laptop
Cyrus Bench is a software platform for protein engineering. (Cyrus Biotech Photo)

Cyrus Biotechnology is getting an $8 million infusion for its cloud-based protein modeling and design toolkit, thanks to a Series A financing round.

The investment round was led by Trinity Ventures, with participation from OrbiMed AdvisorsSpringRock Ventures, the W Fund and individual investors, the Seattle-based venture said today in a news release.

Cyrus Biotech’s primary product, Cyrus Bench, is a software package based on Rosetta, a protein-modeling platform that was created at the University of Washington. Rosetta lets researchers twist and turn virtual models of protein molecules to create novel configurations. (It’s even spawned a video game for citizen scientists called Foldit and a screensaver called Rosetta@Home.)

Protein-folding has been compared to solving puzzles, or building molecular-scale keys for cellular locks. A protein molecule with the right shape could block a virus from invading a cell, or unlock a therapy for disease.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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