Cell and Gene Therapy, Medical
prnewswire | August 25, 2023
Synthego, a leading provider of industrialized genome editing solutions that accelerate discovery to clinic journey, and bit.bio, the company coding human cells for novel cures, today announced a strategic partnership to build a platform centered on the implementation of synthetic circuitry in cells for therapeutic application.
bit.bio is building a pipeline of cell therapies focused on areas of unmet clinical need. The partnership will apply Synthego's expertise in gene editing to bit.bio's opti-oxTM precision cell programming technology, with the aim of discovering and developing advanced genetic engineering solutions for cell therapies.
Synthego will rapidly design, build, test and deliver an end-to-end optimized multiplexed genetic editing strategy. The implementation of the multiplexed opti-ox engineering approach will reduce the number of engineering steps required, with the potential of shortening clinical cell engineering and development timelines by up to 10 months.
"bit.bio is the leading synthetic biology company focussed on human cells. We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with bit.bio to facilitate a leap forward in the development of synthetic biology-based cell therapies," said Paul Dabrowski, CEO at Synthego. "By coordinating our respective technologies, expertise and resources, we will unlock new opportunities for addressing critical challenges in the field by advancing the R&D cycle of innovative cell therapies."
"Synthego are experts when it comes to industrialized cell engineering," stated Mark Kotter, CEO at bit.bio. "Teaming up with Synthego will boost our genetic engineering capabilities. We expect efficiency gains across bit.bio's platform which will allow us and our partners to deliver transformative therapies more rapidly to patients in need."
Synthego is a genome engineering company that enables the acceleration of life science research and development in the pursuit of improved human health. The company leverages machine learning, automation, and gene editing to build platforms and products for science at scale. With its foundations in engineering disciplines, the company's platform technologies vertically integrate proprietary hardware, software, bioinformatics, chemistries, and molecular biology to advance basic research, target validation, and clinical trials. With its technologies cited in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and utilized by thousands of commercial and academic researchers and therapeutic drug developers, Synthego is at the forefront of innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines by delivering genome editing at an unprecedented scale.
bit.bio is a synthetic biology company focused on human cells that is advancing medicine (UN SDG9) and enabling curative treatments (UN SDG3). The company does this by industrializing the manufacture of human cells and making them more accessible. The company was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2016 and has since raised approximately $200m from investors such as Arch Ventures, Foresite Capital, Milky Way, Charles River Laboratories, National Resilience, Tencent, Verition Fund and Puhua Capital.
bit.bio's opti-ox™ precision cell programming and manufacturing technology enables conversion of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into any desired human cell type in a single step. This can be achieved within days and at industrial scale, while maintaining exceptional purity and unparalleled consistency.
Our discovery platform extends this approach to any desired cell type by identifying the transcription factor combinations that define cell states (including identity, cell subtype identity, maturity) using high throughput screens and advanced data analysis. We believe that opti-ox can revolutionize regenerative medicine similarly to how CRISPR is unlocking gene therapy.
bit.bio's cell therapy pipeline is focused on serious diseases that currently lack effective treatments. Our preclinical research areas include liver, immunology and metabolic disease, and we have a collaboration with BlueRock Therapeutics (Bayer AG) to create therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. In addition, our extensive ioCells™ research cell product portfolio, which includes wild type and disease model cells, is opening up new possibilities for studying human biology and developing new medicines in both research and high throughput and high content drug discovery.
prnewswire | September 01, 2023
Exacta Bioscience, a biotech company that harnesses the power of nature and its microorganisms for crop protection, and Ginkgo Bioworks which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced that Exacta is leveraging Ginkgo's end-to-end agricultural R&D services to run a fermentation optimization and scale-up program to enhance one of its crop protection products, FitoRoot®, paving the way for large-scale commercialization.
FitoRoot, a biostimulant product composed of three Bacillus strains, is designed to help crops better absorb water, nutrients and strengthen their defenses against abiotic stress. This can lead to overall better crop health, improved yield and increased resistance to stress conditions such as drought or extreme temperatures. Through this partnership, Exacta will use Ginkgo's fermentation and formulation optimization services to reduce the cost of goods to make its FitoRoot technology more competitive. Accordingly, FitoRoot is currently marketed in Chile and is expected to expand to other Latin American markets, with a planned launch in 2023 by Adama Chile, who is driving biological adoption in the region. Adama Ltd is one of the world's leading crop protection companies.
"We chose Ginkgo because their deep expertise in agricultural product development and optimization positions us to make one of our key crop protection products, FitoRoot, more accessible," said José Bustos, CEO at Exacta Bioscience. "We're proud of the progress Exacta has made, and this partnership marks a vital step toward accelerating our efforts to assure the quality and availability of one of our products and creating a stable and safer ecosystem."
"Exacta Bioscience's emphasis on microbial solutions in crop health brings more sustainable and differentiated solutions to farmers throughout the Americas," said Magalie Guilhabert, Head of Ag Biologicals, Ginkgo Bioworks. "Together, we can continue to push the boundaries of agricultural innovation through biotechnological solutions that promote a more sustainable future for our food systems."
Ginkgo's end-to-end agricultural services can help R&D teams develop more effective biological products across a variety of applications. Find out more.
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect, and respond to a wide variety of biological threats.
About Exacta Bioscience
Exacta Bioscience is a pioneering biotech company that uses microorganisms to create innovative bioproducts for agriculture. Their nature-inspired solutions support a future without chemical pesticides and antibiotics. With extensive knowledge of microorganisms and their effects on crops and soil, Exacta tackles modern farming challenges. Their expertise is in formulating microorganism mixtures, providing a wide range of bioproducts, specifically for crop protection. They are dedicated to delivering effective, stable, and safe crop protection and soil-enhancing products. They invite everyone to join in advancing sustainable practices for a healthier future.
Businesswire | August 03, 2023
A new study demonstrates how the combination of DNA-encoded libraries (DELs) and NanoBRET Target Engagement technology can accelerate early-stage drug discovery. Reported in Cell Chemical Biology, researchers from Promega Corporation and WuXi AppTec generated new chemical probes from molecules identified through a DEL screen. This research opens new opportunities to develop novel NanoBRET Target Engagement Assays aimed at many understudied classes of proteins, rapidly accelerating “hit to lead” efforts in identifying new potential therapeutics.
Generating Novel Chemical Probes from DELs
DELs are increasingly popular tools used to rapidly screen billions of molecules for early-stage drug discovery. Each molecule is tagged with a short DNA “barcode” that can be used to identify those that successfully bind to a given target. In the Cell Chemical Biology paper, scientists from Promega and WuXi AppTec aimed to develop new chemical probes using molecules selected from these massive pools. These probes would be used in a NanoBRET Target Engagement Assay, a tool for studying the interaction between a chemical compound and its target protein in live cells.
The authors screened 16.8 billion compounds from WuXi AppTec’s 41 established DELs against aurora kinase A, a protein implicated in the invasive growth of certain cancers. They identified two representative “hits” that bound to the target and developed a method to replace the DNA barcode of each “hit” with a fluorophore. The fluorophore is responsible for the light signal generated in a NanoBRET assay in live human cells. The team found that this new probe could be used effectively to characterize novel inhibitors targeting aurora kinase A, providing critical engagement characteristics such as affinity, selectivity and cellular permeability.
“It was very clever of the authors to appreciate that the DEL read-out not only identified a chemical binder for a protein, but also a place to attach a tracer,” says Aled Edwards, Chief Executive of the Structural Genomics Consortium, a public-private partnership that develops open-access chemical probes to support drug discovery and development. “One can only imagine what could be if there were DEL hits for all human proteins.”
Accelerating Drug Discovery
The authors demonstrate that DELs can benefit chemical biologists who require verification of live cell target engagement for their protein of interest. This is particularly beneficial for understudied protein classes that may not have existing chemical probes. Additionally, they note that the NanoBRET assays help drug discovery researchers accelerate their workflow by providing data used to identify the most promising leads.
They conclude, “Our findings support that DEL-derived BRET probes facilitate prioritization of not only the chemical matter identified from the DEL but may also serve as general live-cell screening tools for surveying broader chemotypic diversity at the target of interest.”
Read the open access paper, “DELs enable the development of BRET probes for target engagement studies in cells”.
About Promega Corporation
Promega Corporation is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s portfolio of over 4,000 products supports a range of life science work across areas such as cell biology; DNA, RNA and protein analysis; drug development; human identification and molecular diagnostics. These tools and technologies have grown in their application over the last 45 years and are used today by scientists and technicians in labs for academic and government research, forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics and agricultural and environmental testing. Promega is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 16 countries and over 50 global distributors.