Friday, December 29, 2017

A Year in Perspective: Nine Landmark Announcements Made by SGI-DNA and Synthetic Genomics in 2017


2017 has been another milestone year, witnessing the expansion of therapeutics-based platforms & services offered by Synthetic Genomics (SGI) and SGI-DNA. Some highlights from the past year include:

Paving the Way for Rapid Precision Medicine



  • This past June, SGI-DNA added custom, on-demand current good manufacturingpractice (cGMP) gene synthesis, custom cloning, and DNA scale-up for clinical applications to the genomic services offering. The inaugural use of this state of the art cGMP laboratory is for Advaxis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, and its upcoming Phase 1 clinical trial of ADXS-NEO, a personalized, neoantigen-targeted cancer immunotherapy.


The BioXp & Vmax Goes to Europe!

  • The BioXp™ 3200 System made its European debut at the VIB Research Institute in Belgium where it is in use in the Thomas Jacobs laboratory for the development and optimization of plant genome editing using CRISPR/Cas systems. Since that initial placement, multiple additional BioXp™ instruments are now in use across Europe.  
  • Vmax™ Express cells for recombinant protein expression and growth media are now available in electrocompetent and chemically competent formats directly from European-based distributors. This past September, SGI-DNA entered into key partnership distribution agreements with BioCat and Cambridge Bioscience to make this next generation protein expression system readily available to researchers thoughout Europe. 

Make Way for RNA Replicon!

  • Replicon technology is a self-amplifying tunable RNA platform with the potential for use in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. As part of the Duke University-led DARPA Pandemic Prevention Platform program aimed at establishing a system capable of halting viral pandemics within 60 days, SGI is positioned for the rapid, automated assembly of large antibody genes. 
  • In collaboration with Ceva Santé Animale, a leader in livestock health, SGI will utilize its next-generation synthetic RNA replicon platform to develop livestock vaccines.
  • SGI entered into a collaboration with Arcturus Therapeutics, a leading RNA medicines company, to develop self-amplifying RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics for human and animal health. The collaboration relies on Arcturus’ LUNAR™ nanoparticle delivery system and SGI’s RNA replicon platform, with the ultimate objective of producing more efficacious vaccines and therapeutics.

Doubling Algae Biofuel Production


  • After announcing their continued partnership at the beginning of the year, SGI and ExxonMobil reported in Nature Biotechnology, the engineering and development of an algae stain that more than doubles oil production compared to the native strain1. This breakthrough announcement brings the teams one step closer toward realizing the goal of commercializing algae as a viable alternative fuel source.


Notable Publications


  • The Pamela Silver laboratory at Harvard University, in collaboration with SGI scientists, utilized the personal genomic workstation, the BioXp™ 3200 System, as well as commercial DNA synthesis, to construct the largest genome for a cumulative bacterial recoding project to-date2. This large undertaking (over 1500 codon replacements across 176 genes) paves the way toward creating a completely recoded organism for downstream therapeutic applications.
  • Kent Boles and Krishna Kannan and their SGI teams built the Digital-To-Biological Converter (DBC) prototype, an instrument that is capable of on-demand construction of DNA, RNA, proteins, viral particles, and pharmaceuticals from DNA sequence information3. Ultimately, their invention could revolutionize the implementation of personalized medicine.

This has been an exciting year of innovation and advancement for SGI and SGI-DNA. We’ve continued to listen to our customers and broaden the scope of unique solutions to enable and accelerate scientific discovery. As 2017 draws to a close, we look forward to next year, brimming with the anticipation of more discovery and collaboration. 

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year from the SGI-DNA team! We wish you continued success and advancement in 2018.


References




  1. Ajjawi I, Verruto J, Aqui M, Soriaga LB, Coppersmith J, Kwok K, Peach L, Orchard E, Kalb R, Xu W, Carlson TJ. Lipid production in Nannochloropsis gaditana is doubled by decreasing expression of a single transcriptional regulator. Nature biotechnology. 2017 Jul 1;35(7):647-52.
  2. Yu Heng Lau, Finn Stirling, James Kuo, Michiel A. P. Karrenbelt, Yujia A. Chan, Adam Riesselman, Connor A. Horton, Elena Schäfer, David Lips, Matthew T. Weinstock, Daniel G. Gibson, Jeffrey C. Way, Pamela A. Silver; Large-scale recoding of a bacterial genome by iterative recombineering of synthetic DNA. Nucleic Acids Res 2017 gkx415. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx415.
  3. Boles KS, Kannan K, Gill J, Felderman M, Gouvis H, Hubby B, Kamrud KI, Venter JC, Gibson DG. Digital-to-biological converter for on-demand production of biologics. Nature Biotechnology. 2017 May 29.





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