Mammoth de-extinction firm to spin off Austin software product
An effort to revivify the long-extinct woolly mammoth could spin off Austin-engineered software as the centerpiece of a new company as soon as this summer.
Driving the news: Ben Lamm, the CEO of Colossal Biosciences, a biotech startup dedicated to bringing back the mammoth, told Axios that the company's roughly 12-person Austin office is building "monetizable technology."
What they're saying: "This summer we're spinning our first software product, a computational biology platform that helps with genomics research," Lamm told Axios. "We're spinning that software out, the entire company out."
- Lamm said the software will have cancer research and drug discovery applications.
- The new company will likely be based in Austin, he said.
The big picture: A successful software launch could be a huge windfall for a company that says it wants to "jumpstart nature's ancestral heartbeat."
Flashback: In March, the six-month-old company announced a $60 million round of investment, led by the producer of the Batman film "The Dark Knight."
- Of note: Austin gaming designer Richard Garriott serves on the company's advisory board — and the company has raised at least $75 million overall.
Flashing way, way back: The woolly mammoth, a slow-moving, cold-resistant herbivore, went extinct about 4,000 years ago, due in part to a shifting climate and a new predator: humans.
- Mammoths could weigh six tons and grow to 11 feet tall, with long, curled tusks.
- They're nearly identical, genetically, to Asian elephants, and Colossal's team is trying to bridge the 0.4% genetic gap through genome editing.
What's next: Lamm said Colossal, which also has offices in Dallas and Boston, is shooting to create a baby woolly mammoth in the next four to six years.
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