The Accelerating Bioeconomy for Synthetic Biology

The convergence of technology and biology, with the resulting expansion of computational power and decreasing costs for DNA sequencing and synthesis, is opening new vistas in the creation of synthetic biology tools. This innovative trend is driving and expanding a new bioeconomy in which providers from different disciplines are collaborating to develop breakthroughs in products and services in synthetic biology and related fields.

Case in point is the collaboration of Twist Bioscience, Arzeda, TeselaGen Biotechnology, and Labcyte to build a cutting-edge DNA assembly platform aimed at significantly reducing the time and cost of building genes that encode Arzeda’s designed proteins.

The high-throughput screening of Arzeda’s computationally-designed proteins and enzymes will be supported by the customized platform. Twist Bioscience will deliver high-quality, linear DNA fragments to Arzeda that will be used to assemble large collections of plasmids encoding Arzeda-designed proteins. With the large quantities of DNA provided by Twist Bioscience, the companies can use automation and liquid handling to facilitate Arzeda’s protein design platform.

Twist Bioscience will provide the DNA fragments in plates compatible with Labcyte’s Echo Liquid Handler, which may reduce production cost and significantly increase Arzeda’s ability to test its proteins. The Echo system will automatically follow instructions generated by TeselaGen’s laboratory automation software to build large plasmid collections used in downstream testing.

“By adding Labcyte to the arsenal, we will build on our successful relationships with Twist Bioscience and TeselaGen to reduce the time and cost of our DNA construction process by more than 10x,” said Alexandre Zanghellini, Ph.D., CEO of Arzeda. “By collaborating with these world-class leaders in DNA synthesis, robotics and automation, Arzeda’s Genetic Design-Build team will be able to construct thousands of very large genes per week, which will bring significant value to our commercial partners and our own internal projects.”

Twist Bioscience, Arzeda’s primary supplier of clonal, fully-built DNA for nearly two years will now additionally provide large numbers of linear DNA fragments. “In this expanded partnership, we will provide high-quality linear DNA in large-scale quantities to enable Arzeda to continue innovating its computational protein design functionality,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO of Twist. Twist Bioscience has also opened up its Application Programming Interface (API), so in addition to ordering DNA from Twist via TeselaGen’s BUILD app, Arzeda can also construct much longer segments of DNA.

Twist Bioscience’s high-quality, high-quantity DNA is being used in a growing number of fields by diverse companies, including Ginkgo Bioworks, which is using DNA from Twist under an agreement for up to 1.3 billion base pairs of synthetic DNA  for manufacturing and sustainable agriculture development, and Microsoft and University of Washington, which have strategic relationships with Twist Bioscience to use more than ten million strands of DNA to encode digital data at higher density.

Here is a full account of the news announced today regarding the Twist Bioscience, Arzeda, TeselaGen Biotechnology, and Labcyte collaboration.

Featured Image: Genetic engineering concept (Adobe Stock)