MEDTECH

GP-write Partners with DNA Script to Accelerate DNA-Writing Technology and Accessibility

Genome Project-write | October 18, 2021

GP-write’s CAD is a one-stop shop for microbe, plant and animal genome writing and redesign. Its automated workflow allows users to rapidly upload a genome, redesign it and synthesize the new sequence. The tool enables researchers to directly order synthetic DNA or related products and services from GP-write’s affiliated members.

DNA Script’s SYNTAX System, a benchtop DNA printer powered by their groundbreaking enzymatic DNA synthesis (EDS) technology, enables users to print sequences designed on GP-write’s CAD tool right in their lab. The first-of-its-kind DNA printer expedites workflows, making DNA writing as simple and efficient as next-generation sequencing.

DNA Script will host a roundtable at the GP-write 5.0 conference on October 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET to engage attendees in a discussion centered on biosecurity as it relates to emerging technologies, including GP-write’s new CAD tool and DNA Script’s SYNTAX System.

“We’re pleased to join GP-write and their industrial partners to drive innovation on the forefront of DNA printing technologies. Just as NGS, or DNA 'read,' and CRISPR, or DNA 'edit,' have brought significant advances to research and clinical care, we believe the broad accessibility of synthetic DNA printing, or DNA 'write,' offered by our SYNTAX System will be equally transformative and power the next bio-revolution.”

Thomas Ybert, co-founder and CEO of DNA Script

GP-write President and General Counsel, Amy Cayne Schwartz, notes that the organizations are partnering to work toward realizing “a shared vision of a future where writing genomes is facile, democratized and safely accessible.” Schwartz explains that “this will open up new frontiers for development of novel therapeutics and solutions for environmental health.”

About Genome Project-write
GP-write, conceived as a sequel to the Human Genome Project, applies lessons learned from HGP to pursue scientific exploration fully integrated with the development of genome engineering technologies. The primary goal of the project is to drive dramatic cost reductions and expedite whole-genome writing and redesign over the next decade, empowering researchers to uncover complex biological behavior and reprogram organisms to address defining global challenges in medicine, biotechnology and environmental health. 

About DNA Script
Founded in 2014, DNA Script is a pioneering life sciences technology company developing a new, faster, more powerful and versatile way to design and manufacture nucleic acids. The company has developed an alternative to traditional DNA synthesis called Enzymatic DNA Synthesis, or EDS, allowing this technology to be accessible to labs with the first benchtop enzymatic synthesis instrument, the SYNTAX System. By putting DNA synthesis back in the lab, DNA Script aims to transform life sciences research through innovative technology that gives researchers unprecedented control and autonomy. 

Spotlight

This animation shows you the function of plant and animal cells for middle school and high school biology, including organelles like the nucleus, nucleolus, DNA (chromosomes), ribosomes, mitochondria, etc. Also included are ATP molecules, cytoskeleton, cytoplasm, microtubules, proteins, chloroplasts, chlorophyll, cell walls, cell membrane, cilia, flagellae, etc.

Spotlight

This animation shows you the function of plant and animal cells for middle school and high school biology, including organelles like the nucleus, nucleolus, DNA (chromosomes), ribosomes, mitochondria, etc. Also included are ATP molecules, cytoskeleton, cytoplasm, microtubules, proteins, chloroplasts, chlorophyll, cell walls, cell membrane, cilia, flagellae, etc.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Sutro Biopharma and Tasly Biopharmaceuticals Enter into Exclusive License Agreement for STRO-002 in Greater China

Sutro Biopharma | December 28, 2021

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Specific Biologics Inc. Announces Therapeutic Development Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Specific Biologics Inc. | December 08, 2021

Specific Biologics Inc. an early-stage biotechnology company developing novel gene editing technologies, announced that it will receive more than US$527,000 to support the preclinical development of its Dualase™ gene editing platform to target a set of cystic fibrosis -causing nonsense mutations where patients currently have fewer therapeutic options available. "Incredible advancements in the treatment of cystic fibrosis have been made since the identification of genetic mutations in the CFTR gene as the cause of CF Recent developments in gene editing technologies are creating the potential to correct these causative mutations at their source. We are truly grateful for the support of this Cystic Fibrosis Foundation award which will allow us to apply our Dualase™ gene editing technology to several frequent CFTR nonsense mutations." Brent Stead, CEO of Specific Biologics Inc Dualase™ cuts DNA differently than existing gene editors. This feature enables the high frequency insertion of new sequences into precise locations in the human genome. One can think of gene editing like a word processor that can find a specific spelling mistake in billions of letters and replace it with a correction. Similarly, inside a cell, Dualase™ can find a specific spelling mistake in the genome and replace it with the corrected sequence. Specific will deliver its gene editing technology using an inhalable lipid nanoparticle carrier, which will aid in delivering the gene editing machinery inside the cells of the lung. It is believed that if the CFTR nonsense mutations are corrected in enough cells, a gene editing therapeutic could provide a long-lasting benefit for CF patients. The award will help fund preclinical testing in disease relevant models. About Specific Biologics Inc. Specific Biologics Inc. is a venture-backed early-stage biotechnology company on a mission to develop novel gene editing technologies to treat diseases through precision gene editing. Our two-site Dualase™ platform gene editors cut DNA in a way that optimally exploits the cell's naturally occurring DNA repair pathways. This enables two gene editing outcomes, precise DNA deletions to disrupt genes or increased repair to correct genes. Specific also develops lipid nanoparticles to deliver the gene editor to target cells and is developing a pipeline of Dualase™-based therapeutics in areas of high unmet medical need.

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MEDICAL

Duke Researchers Identify Genetic Mechanism in Brain Lesion Formation Using Single-Cell DNA Sequencing from Mission Bio

Mission Bio | March 15, 2022

Mission Bio, the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced new findings by Daniel Snellings from the lab of Douglas Marchuk, PhD, at Duke University School of Medicine using single-cell DNA sequencing to identify genetic mechanisms leading to the development of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). The study, published today in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, is the latest demonstration of how Mission Bio's Tapestri Platform is allowing researchers to probe new aspects of biology at a single-cell resolution not possible with bulk sequencing. Dr. Marchuk is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke. CCMs, a blood vessel abnormality that can lead to brain hemorrhages, have long been associated with developmental venous anomalies (DVAs), a typically benign but irregular vascular arrangement often found near sporadic CCMs – though researchers had yet to prove a link. In the paper, Snellings and colleagues sequenced DNA from three CCM patient samples to see if somatic mutations in MAP3K3 or PIK3CA – common in patients with CCMs – co-existed in the same cells. Single-cell DNA sequencing with Tapestri found co-occurring mutations in the cells of all three samples, a pattern that could not be determined by bulk sequencing. Further, the group found that the CCMs and the associated DVAs harbored identical mutations in PIK3CA, but that mutations in MAP3K3 were only found in the CCMs. Because of the pattern of PIK3CA and MAP3K3 co-occurrence in CCMs, the team could assess the temporal pattern of genetic mutations associated with disease progression. They determined that DVA is the first lesion to occur, and that CCM development happens only after acquisition of an activating MAP3K3 mutation in a cell of the existing DVA.sazsz It was surprising to find that something as common as DVAs—which are present in up to 16% of people—could be caused by a cancer driver mutation. This explains why sporadic CCMs are often found in the vicinity of a DVA, and may explain why other diseases like pontine gliomas are also found near DVAs." Snellings. Tapestri is regularly deployed in cancer research to detect somatic mutations in clonal populations as a way of tracking tumor development, and the researchers adapted that methodology to evaluate the relationship between DVAs and CCMs. Since DVAs are not regularly biopsied, the researchers also confirmed the presence of circulating mRNAs in patients with both CCM and DVA related to this biological pathway, in plasma – a first step toward establishing a biomarker for CCM risk in patients with DVAs. We expect this research will have a meaningful impact for patients at risk for developing spontaneous cerebral cavernous malformations, which can lead to strokes or even death, This paper is a powerful new demonstration that there are many disease areas where single-cell DNA sequencing is helping elucidate the mechanisms of disease development, and identifying potential targets for diagnostics or therapeutics." Yan Zhang, PhD, CEO of Mission Bio. About Mission Bio Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others. The company's Tapestri platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.

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