SynbiTECH unplugged: an interview with Professors Kitney and Freemont

KOSTAS VAVITSAS | July 8, 2019 | 60 views

Professor Richard Kitney is co-Director of the UK National Industrial Translation Centre for Synthetic Biology (SynbiCITE) and co-Founder and co-Director of the EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI). He is Professor of BioMedical Systems Engineering at Imperial College London. As Chair of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Inquiry into Synthetic Biology and a member of the UK’s Ministerial Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, he has driven the UK’s approach to the field and the technology, its development and its translation into industrially useful products, tools, processes and services.

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Comparative Biosciences

Comparative Biosciences Inc., a premier preclinical contract research organization (CRO) committed, for the last 20 years, to providing expert high-quality contract research services to all sectors of the biomedical community. Extensive experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries provides our staff with an exceptional track record in preclinical research and drug development capabilities.

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MEDTECH

Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | July 11, 2022

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MEDICAL

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | August 16, 2022

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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MEDTECH

Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | July 16, 2022

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Selexis Cell Line Development Strategies

Article | February 11, 2020

In today’s biotechnology landscape, to be competitive, meet regulations, and achieve market demands, “we must apply Bioprocessing 4.0,” said Igor Fisch, PhD, CEO, Selexis. In fact, in the last decade, “Selexis has evolved from cloning by limiting dilution to automated cell selection to nanofluidic chips and from monoclonality assessment by statistical calculation to proprietary bioinformatic analysis,” he added. Single-use processing systems are an expanding part of the biomanufacturing world; as such, they are a major component of Bioprocessing 4.0. “At Selexis, we use single use throughout our cell line development workflow. Currently, we have incorporated single-use automated bioprocessing systems such as ambr® and the Beacon® optofluidic platform for accelerated cell line development. By using these systems and optimizing our parameters, we were able to achieve high titers in shake flasks. Additionally, the Beacon systems integrate miniaturized cell culture with high-throughput liquid handling automation and cell imaging. This allows us to control, adjust, and monitor programs at the same time,” noted Fisch.

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Spotlight

Comparative Biosciences

Comparative Biosciences Inc., a premier preclinical contract research organization (CRO) committed, for the last 20 years, to providing expert high-quality contract research services to all sectors of the biomedical community. Extensive experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries provides our staff with an exceptional track record in preclinical research and drug development capabilities.

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AI

eureKARE and DNAlytics Form Partnership to Develop a Proprietary AI Platform

eureKARE | July 07, 2021

eureKARE, a pioneering new company focused on financing and building next-generation biotechnology companies in the disruptive fields of the microbiome and synthetic biology, today announced an agreement with DNAlytics, a Belgian company applying data sciences to healthcare, to develop eureKARE's proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to support its Biotech start-upstart-up studios, eureKARE. Unlike conventional start-upstart-up incubation methods, which begin with new science and then attempt to find an issue to address with it, eureKARE's methodology reverses this. eureKARE is committed to first finding an unmet need and then enlisting the best scientists and experts to provide an innovative solution to launch exciting new ventures. This process will be aided by eureKARE's one-of-a-kind AI platform, which will assist the business in identifying top academic researchers, locating new ideas and approaches in development, and scaling existing portfolio companies. About eureKARE eureKARE is a ground-breaking new company focusing on financing and establishing next-generation biotechnology start-ups in the microbiome and synthetic biology cutting-edge areas. eureKARE employs a two-step investing strategy to create long-term value. Through its biotech start-upstart-up studios eureKABIOME (Microbiome) and eureKASYNBIO, the company promotes translational research by developing and financing new companies based on high-value European science (Synthetic biology). In addition, the company aims to engage in more mature biotech companies. It will systematically propose to provide some liquidity to early investors, thus fulfilling a crucial demand in the European biotech sector. EureKARE has a fast-expanding portfolio of companies with the potential to disrupt the life sciences sector, led by its prominent founder, Alexandre Mouradian, and a pan-European team. About DNAlytics DNAlytics is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, specializing in data science for the healthcare sector, including data management, bioinformatics, biostatistics, Machine Learning, and other Artificial Intelligence methods. DNAlytics products are utilized in clinical research, the creation of biotech drugs and medical devices, public health studies, and the monitoring and optimization of bio-manufacturing processes. In addition, DNAlytics assists a wide range of clients and partners in extracting scientifically sound observations and practical conclusions from complex data sets.

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Tennessee researchers join call for responsible development of synthetic biology

Phys.org | October 18, 2019

Engineering biology is already transforming technology and science, and a consortium of researchers across many disciplines in the international Genome Project-write is calling for more discussion among scientists, policy makers and the general public to shepherd future development. In a policy forum article published in the October 18 issue of Science, the authors outline the technological advances needed to secure the transformative future of synthetic biology and express their concerns that the implementation of the relatively new discipline remains safe and responsible. Two researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are co-authors on the piece titled "Technological challenges and milestones for writing genomes: synthetic genomics requires improved technologies." Neal Stewart and Scott Lenaghan with the UTIA departments of Plant Sciences and Food Science, respectively, join Nili Ostrov, a Ph.D. research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School, and 18 other leading scientists from a number of institutions and disciplines, in outlining a potential timeline for the development of what they call transformative advances to science and society.

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Bioactive Agents Improve Synthetic Bone Substitutes

Technology Networks | October 18, 2019

Synthetic bone substitutes are promising materials for bone defect repair, but their efficacy can be substantially improved by bioactive agents such as growth factors. In a new study, researchers have modified beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) with increasing quantities of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) derived from E. coli and shown improved bone healing. The study is published in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Yuelian Liu, PhD, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues present their work in an article titled "Dose Effects of Slow-Released Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Functionalized β-Tricalcium Phosphate in Repairing Critical-Sized Bone Defects". The authors created bone defects in a rat calvarial model and then attempted repair using β-TCP granules coated with a biomimetic calcium phosphate preparation that allows slow release of BMP-2. Bone growth and maturation were studied in comparison with autologous bone grafts using micro-CT scans, histology, and histomorphometry, and toxicity was assessed with blood tests. The E. coli-derived BMP-2 successfully improved bone formation with efficacy comparable to autologous grafts, and higher BMP-2 concentration promoted bone maturation.

Read More

AI

eureKARE and DNAlytics Form Partnership to Develop a Proprietary AI Platform

eureKARE | July 07, 2021

eureKARE, a pioneering new company focused on financing and building next-generation biotechnology companies in the disruptive fields of the microbiome and synthetic biology, today announced an agreement with DNAlytics, a Belgian company applying data sciences to healthcare, to develop eureKARE's proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform to support its Biotech start-upstart-up studios, eureKARE. Unlike conventional start-upstart-up incubation methods, which begin with new science and then attempt to find an issue to address with it, eureKARE's methodology reverses this. eureKARE is committed to first finding an unmet need and then enlisting the best scientists and experts to provide an innovative solution to launch exciting new ventures. This process will be aided by eureKARE's one-of-a-kind AI platform, which will assist the business in identifying top academic researchers, locating new ideas and approaches in development, and scaling existing portfolio companies. About eureKARE eureKARE is a ground-breaking new company focusing on financing and establishing next-generation biotechnology start-ups in the microbiome and synthetic biology cutting-edge areas. eureKARE employs a two-step investing strategy to create long-term value. Through its biotech start-upstart-up studios eureKABIOME (Microbiome) and eureKASYNBIO, the company promotes translational research by developing and financing new companies based on high-value European science (Synthetic biology). In addition, the company aims to engage in more mature biotech companies. It will systematically propose to provide some liquidity to early investors, thus fulfilling a crucial demand in the European biotech sector. EureKARE has a fast-expanding portfolio of companies with the potential to disrupt the life sciences sector, led by its prominent founder, Alexandre Mouradian, and a pan-European team. About DNAlytics DNAlytics is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, specializing in data science for the healthcare sector, including data management, bioinformatics, biostatistics, Machine Learning, and other Artificial Intelligence methods. DNAlytics products are utilized in clinical research, the creation of biotech drugs and medical devices, public health studies, and the monitoring and optimization of bio-manufacturing processes. In addition, DNAlytics assists a wide range of clients and partners in extracting scientifically sound observations and practical conclusions from complex data sets.

Read More

Tennessee researchers join call for responsible development of synthetic biology

Phys.org | October 18, 2019

Engineering biology is already transforming technology and science, and a consortium of researchers across many disciplines in the international Genome Project-write is calling for more discussion among scientists, policy makers and the general public to shepherd future development. In a policy forum article published in the October 18 issue of Science, the authors outline the technological advances needed to secure the transformative future of synthetic biology and express their concerns that the implementation of the relatively new discipline remains safe and responsible. Two researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are co-authors on the piece titled "Technological challenges and milestones for writing genomes: synthetic genomics requires improved technologies." Neal Stewart and Scott Lenaghan with the UTIA departments of Plant Sciences and Food Science, respectively, join Nili Ostrov, a Ph.D. research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School, and 18 other leading scientists from a number of institutions and disciplines, in outlining a potential timeline for the development of what they call transformative advances to science and society.

Read More

Bioactive Agents Improve Synthetic Bone Substitutes

Technology Networks | October 18, 2019

Synthetic bone substitutes are promising materials for bone defect repair, but their efficacy can be substantially improved by bioactive agents such as growth factors. In a new study, researchers have modified beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) with increasing quantities of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) derived from E. coli and shown improved bone healing. The study is published in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Yuelian Liu, PhD, Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues present their work in an article titled "Dose Effects of Slow-Released Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Functionalized β-Tricalcium Phosphate in Repairing Critical-Sized Bone Defects". The authors created bone defects in a rat calvarial model and then attempted repair using β-TCP granules coated with a biomimetic calcium phosphate preparation that allows slow release of BMP-2. Bone growth and maturation were studied in comparison with autologous bone grafts using micro-CT scans, histology, and histomorphometry, and toxicity was assessed with blood tests. The E. coli-derived BMP-2 successfully improved bone formation with efficacy comparable to autologous grafts, and higher BMP-2 concentration promoted bone maturation.

Read More

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