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Introducing Primrose Bio: Enabling Innovative Therapeutic Discovery and Manufacturing

Primrose Bio launches following merger of Primordial Genetics and Pelican Technology Holdings with $15 million in funding from Ligand Pharmaceuticals

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Primrose Bio, Inc., a stand-alone private biotechnology company focused on developing state-of-the-art discovery and production systems for protein and nucleic acid medicines, has been established as a result of the combination between Primordial Genetics, Inc. and Pelican Technology Holdings, Inc. As part of the transaction, Ligand Pharmaceuticals has contributed $15 million in funding.

Primrose Bio combines the Function Generator™ and Pelican Expression Technology® (formerly Pfenex Expression Technology®) platforms of its founding companies to create an innovative system to engineer and enhance biological productivity to enable the next generation of therapeutics. Function Generator systematically generates tens of millions of novel genes in an ultra-high-throughput fashion, which enables the discovery of proteins and microbes with improved function. The Pelican Expression Technology platform is a robust and scalable protein production system used in five approved medicines that enables large-scale production of therapeutics and proteins, especially those that are complex and are difficult to produce.

"We are thrilled to combine two powerful technologies and two talented teams to create a company that is well positioned to deliver significant value to our pharmaceutical customers. Our combined technologies harness the power of evolution at a speed and scale that is unmatched by other synthetic biology companies," said Dr. Helge Zieler, CEO of Primrose Bio. "This platform will enable discovery and production of new complex therapeutics and vaccines, and we are excited to provide our partners with access to our expanded capabilities through this merger."

Primrose Bio's technologies have been leveraged to launch Prima RNApols™ and PeliCRM197®, two widely licensed manufacturing and formulation solutions for biopharma companies developing mRNA medicines and conjugate vaccines, respectively.

"We've found that nature is often smarter than we are, and our platforms are designed to let biology do the heavy lifting. We generate collections of novel microbes and proteins with several orders of magnitude more genetic diversity than what is currently feasible using other methods. This allows us to find microbes, enzymes and proteins, with desirable characteristics that otherwise would be missed using traditional methods," said Dr. Diane Retallack, President of Primrose Bio. "We are at an exciting point at Primrose Bio, with more biopharma companies using our technologies than ever before, and several programs under development that can transform the biopharma manufacturing industry."

Primrose Bio's initial focus areas include:

  • Collaborate with the biopharma industry to optimize production hosts, enzymes and proteins using our technologies as well as support partners' process design and scale up needs;
  • Commercialize Prima RNApols™ and PeliCRM197® to enable mRNA medicines and conjugate vaccines, respectively;
  • Develop transformational manufacturing methodologies, including enzymatic oligonucleotide synthesis for use in oligo-based therapeutics and enhanced microbial production of complex therapeutic proteins, such as aglycosylated antibodies, antibody derivatives and Fc fusions;
  • Expand our technology beyond human health into sustainable food, energy, industrial and consumer goods.

About Primrose Bio, Inc.
Primrose Bio was formed in 2023 with the merger between Primordial Genetics, Inc. and Pelican Technology Holdings, Inc.  Primrose Bio combines the Function Generator™ and Pelican Expression Technology® platforms to create a novel way of enhancing biological productivity to enable the next generation of therapeutics. These combined technologies are designed to create and express some of the largest sets of genetic diversity available in the industry, to enable customers to discover new biological molecules and cells that with levels of productivity that were previously unachievable, economically prohibitive, or otherwise inaccessible. Primrose has leveraged its technology to create Prima RNApols™ and PeliCRM197®, two manufacturing and formulation solutions licensed to biopharma companies developing mRNA medicines and conjugate vaccines, respectively. Several of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies use Primrose Bio's technology, including Merck, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Alvogen, Serum Institute of India, Arcellx, Arcturus and others. For more information, please visit

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