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Immusoft CEO Matthew Scholz.
Immusoft CEO Matthew Scholz.

Immusoft, a Seattle-based biotech startup that has developed a way to manipulate human immune cells, today announced the acquisition of Discovery Genomics, a 16-year-old company based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Immusoft CEO Matthew Scholz said that his company acquired Discovery Genomics to gain its scientific expertise and key technology called the Sleeping Beauty Transposon System, which is used to deliver genes into cells to prevent or alleviate a disease state, all without using a virus.

“Our two companies share a culture of innovation and a desire to change the way many diseases can be treated,” Scholz said in a statement. “It is my hope and expectation that combining our expertise and technology will help us in this pursuit.”

Immusoft will use Discovery Genomics’ innovations to compliment its own technology, which essentially re-programs a patient’s B cells — the ones that make disease-fighting antibodies — and then manipulates the genetic code so the cells can be put back into the body and attack diseases like HIV.

“Basically, we turn patient cells into drug factories,” Scholz told GeekWire in 2014. “Instead of making treatments and injecting them, we take the cell out, program them to make treatment, and put them back into your own body.”

Scholz founded Immusoft in 2009 and has raised nearly $6 million from angel investors, grants, and other organizations for the company, which employs five. Immusoft has several treatments in its pipeline, but all are still in developmental phase.

Discovery Genomics’ three employees will remain in Minneapolis.

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