Team uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into plant chloroplasts

Phys.org | February 25, 2019

MIT researchers have developed a new genetic tool that could make it easier to engineer plants that can survive drought or resist fungal infections. Their technique, which uses nanoparticles to deliver genes into the chloroplasts of plant cells, works with many different plant species, including spinach and other vegetables. This new strategy could help plant biologists to overcome the difficulties involved in genetically modifying plants, which is now a complex, time-consuming process that has to be customized to the specific plant species that is being altered. "This is a universal mechanism that works across plant species," says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, about the new method. Strano and Nam-Hai Chua, the deputy chair of the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory at the National University of Singapore and a professor emeritus at Rockefeller University, are the senior authors of the study, which appears in the Feb. 25 issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

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Biotechnolgy Principles and Processes: Processes of Recombinant DNA Technology

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Biotechnolgy Principles and Processes: Processes of Recombinant DNA Technology

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Psycheceutical Completes Acquisition by Blue Water Ventures International

Blue Water Ventures International | January 20, 2022

Psycheceutical, Inc. a biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of psychedelic medicines, announced the company has been fully acquired by Blue Water Ventures International, Inc. “We are thrilled that this deal has closed and that Psycheceutical is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of a publicly-listed company and has secured important near-term capital to pursue our growth plans. We will immediately begin the next steps of our growth strategy as we work to bring our revolutionary psychedelic drug delivery technologies to the market, starting with initial clinical trials.” Psycheceutical CEO Chad Harman BWVI acquired Psycheceutical, Inc. by way of a merger, resulting in Psycheceutical becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of BWVI. Now that the acquisition has occurred, BWVI intends to cease its previous business activities and the company will focus solely on psychedelic drug development. Once regulatory approvals have been received, the company will consummate related corporate actions, including a name and symbol change. About Psycheceutical, Inc. Psycheceutical, Inc. is seeking to develop cutting-edge delivery technologies for safe and effective psychedelic pharmaceutical medicines. Powered by a team with more than 100 years' combined experience in development, regulatory approval processes and commercialization across the pharmaceutical industry, Psycheceutical is on a mission to bring safety and efficacy to psychedelic compounds., today announced the company has been fully acquired by Blue Water Ventures International, Inc.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Ginkgo Bioworks Launches Cell Development Kit Service for Standardized, Low-Cost Entry to its Cell Programming Platform

ginkgo biowork | November 11, 2021

ginkgo biowork the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, announced the launch of its Cell Development Kits (CDKs) service. CDKs provide streamlined access to the company's platform for aspiring cell developers to program cells to tackle the biggest challenges facing society. The first CDKs to launch are focused on protein expression programs. The service provides developers access to the toolkit needed to get started developing commercial proteins, including pre-engineered host cells optimized for protein production, specialized equipment, automation capabilities, genetic engineering expertise, insights garnered from Ginkgo's codebase and the applicable infrastructure to design, build and test a custom microbe. Ginkgo's CDKs are designed to cut the cost of launching a cell program and speed up development timelines to build engineered microbes, for example, to determine whether a protein may be successfully and commercially produced. The service is also designed to enable customers to prototype their idea in phases, with each phase providing data that can inform the customer's project and business strategy. By simplifying the pathway for companies to get started on the Ginkgo platform with standard terms, a phased approach, low costs—starting at $100,000 for protein expression projects—and clear deliverables, the CDK can help derisk projects prior to full scale technical development. "We believe engineering biology holds tremendous potential to revolutionize industries and our customers are using it to develop solutions ranging from alternative food proteins and vaccine ingredients to biodegradable plastics and sustainable chemicals But biology is still complex and highly variable, making the barrier to entry too high for many of the product developers that are out there with an idea they want to bring to the world. By providing these researchers, entrepreneurs and dreamers with the resources to realize their proof of concept, we're able to support the synthetic biology ecosystem to keep pushing the envelope on innovation." Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks If you are a developer interested in learning more about being in the next batch of CDK projects to launch, reach out to the Ginkgo team. Ginkgo will also be hosting an informational virtual event, Grow with Ginkgo: You're a Cell Developer, for prospective cell developers that are interested in learning more about the CDK on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the launch and potential benefits of Ginkgo's "Cell Development Kits" (CDKs) service and the potential of Ginkgo's cell programming platform generally. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this document, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of the business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's current report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on September 20, 2021 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Xalud Therapeutics Completes Oversubscribed $30 Million Series C Financing

Xalud Therapeutics | August 25, 2021

Xalud Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel non-viral gene therapies to treat pathologic inflammation, announced today that it has raised $30 million in a Series C financing. “We are well positioned to continue advancing XT-150, our lead therapeutic candidate, through clinical development and further expand our platform” XT-150 is a locally injectable plasmid DNA gene therapy expressing IL-10v – a proprietary long-acting, modified variant of IL-10 with enhanced durability properties over the naturally occurring wild-type cytokine. XT-150 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2b study for moderate-to-severe pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee, a Phase 1/2a study for peripheral neuropathic pain and a study for facet joint syndrome is expected to be initiated by end of year. While serving as milestones along a potential route to approval for each of these indications, the studies also provide valuable safety and efficacy data to guide future clinical development for additional indications currently in the IND-enabling stage. “We are proud to lead Xalud’s Series C financing and continue to support their efforts to build a leading gene therapy company that will address a significant unmet need in the field of chronic inflammatory diseases,” said Paul Manning, chief executive officer and chairman of PBM Capital. “Xalud has assembled an experienced leadership team, supported by diverse and distinguished strategic advisors, who have made strides in progressing their clinical programs and exploring additional indications with large potential.” About Xalud Therapeutics Xalud Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing a non-viral gene therapy platform to treat pathologic inflammation through immune modulation. The company is harnessing the power of interleukin-10 (IL-10), a potent cytokine that acts as a master regulator for multiple inflammatory pathways, to address the root cause of inflammation and subsequently restore homeostasis in the immune system. Xalud’s lead product candidate, XT-150, is a locally injectable plasmid DNA gene therapy expressing IL-10v, a proprietary modified variant of IL-10, that addresses pathologic inflammation and pain.

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