Teams at Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. Successfully Engineer 16S rRNA using One Step Process Combining CRISPR/Cas9 Systems and Yeast Recombination Machinery

(LA JOLLA, CA)—August 4, 2016—Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) have published research describing a method for engineering Mycoplasma mycoides 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) using a one-step process that combines CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system with yeast recombination machinery.

The rRNAs are some of the most conserved genes in all branches of life and thus are used to trace evolutionary history. While they are fundamental to the process of protein synthesis, to date they have been challenging to engineer since they are present as multiple copies in almost every genome.

The JCVI/SGI team, led by Krishna Kannan, Ph.D., SGI and senior author Daniel G. Gibson, Ph.D., SGI and JCVI, believe that this new combined technique has wide applications in the field of synthetic biology and can be used to both study the function of 16S rRNA specifically but also to help more broadly interrogate any genetic structure and answer basic questions of biology.

Bacteria, such as E. coli, are widely used in research as model organisms to study basic biological functions because of their often small and simple genomes and gene architectures. While the development of CRISPR/Cas9 systems have made gene editing much easier in some prokaryotic organisms, their utility has still been generally limited in many bacteria. Given the JCVI/SGI team’s expertise in development of many new tools in synthetic biology in their quest to construct the first synthetic bacterial cell, they set out to see if a combination of these tools and CRISPR/Cas9 could bring advances to the field.

The team began the process to edit the M. mycoides genome by first cloning it in a strain of yeast expressing Cas9. This genome was subsequently converted into a non-functional form through replacement of the essential “rrs” gene (that encodes for the 16S rRNA) with a ura3 yeast marker. By using in vitro transcribed guide RNAs, this ura3 gene was replaced with synthetically engineered 16S rRNA cassettes in yeast. The capacity of these16S rRNA cassettes to support life (by converting the genome to a functional state) was tested by genome transplantation from yeast into M. capricolum recipient cells.

By combining CRISPR/Cas9 editing technology with the yeast homologous recombination machinery, genome transplantation and other tools developed by the JCVI/SGI team, the group has developed an efficient, high throughput platform to test engineered essential genes like the 16S rRNA thus facilitating more experiments into biological function and helping to answer basic questions of life.

“This new genomic platform would allow us to quickly engineer any essential gene in the “simplest” M. mycoides genome and obtain a quick, binary “yes” or “no” answer as to whether the modification introduced could support cellular viability. Using this platform, we observed a surprising resilience of the 16S rRNA gene when extensive modifications were introduced,” said Dr. Kannan, Scientist, Synthetic Systems and DNA Technologies Group, SGI.

“This work highlights the power of combining advanced genome editing and synthetic DNA technologies to build novel cells with unique characteristics,” said Dr. Gibson, Vice President, DNA Technologies, SGI; Associate Professor, JCVI.

The paper describing this research is being published today in the journal Scientific Reports. Other JCVI and SGI researchers on this paper are: J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Hamilton Smith, M.D., Clyde Hutchison, Ph.D., John Glass, Ph.D., Chuck Merryman, Ph.D., Billyana Tsvetanova, Ph.D., Ray-Yuan Chuang, Ph.D., Vladimir Noskov, Ph.D., Nacyra Assad-Garcia, and Li Ma.

This work was funded by SGI.

The JCVI/SGI team has a long and successful history in synthetic biology research. The team, who published some of their first studies as early as 1999, culminated their efforts with the first synthetic cell, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 in 2010, and in March 2016 published result of the successful construction of the first minimal synthetic cell, JCVI-syn3.0. This cell contains 531,560 base pairs and just 473 genes, making it the smallest genome of any organism that can be grown in laboratory media.

About J. Craig Venter Institute

The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and La Jolla, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 200 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The JCVI is a 501 (c)(3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.JCVI.org.

About Synthetic Genomics Inc.

Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life. SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges. SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products. The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer. SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.

Contacts

JCVI Media Contact: Heather Kowalski, hkowalski@jcvi.org or 858-361-0466
SGI Media Contact: Ben Chiarelli, media@syntheticgenomics.com

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. to Present at the Jefferies 2016 Healthcare Conference

LA JOLLA, CA – June 6, 2016 – Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) announced today that Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Synthetic Genomics, Inc., will provide a corporate overview and presentation at the Jefferies 2016 Healthcare Conference on Friday, June 10, 2016 at 8:30am ET (5:30am PT) in New York, NY.

About Synthetic Genomics

Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life. SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges. SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products. The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer. SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.

Media Contact

Ben Chiarelli, VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
media@syntheticgenomics.com

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. Hires Anthony Artuso as Chief Business Officer

La Jolla, CA, May 3, 2016—Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a leader in the field of synthetic biology, announced today that Anthony Artuso has joined its executive team as Chief Business Officer. Anthony is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur with over 20 years of broad domestic and international experience in biotech, clean energy, finance, public policy, and sustainable development.

Oliver Fetzer, SGI CEO, said “We are pleased to add Anthony to our executive team and under his leadership we will further expand SGI’s industry leading synthetic biology partnerships.  Anthony’s extensive experience in strategy and corporate development will accelerate our commercialization momentum while his breadth and depth of experience make him well suited to play an integral part in SGI’s evolution.”

Before joining SGI, Anthony spent six years with Merck Millipore where he headed the company’s protein and cellular analysis business, and previous to that was in charge of strategic planning and business development for Merck Millipore Bioscience. Anthony’s pharmaceutical industry experience includes building and leading the strategic planning, portfolio management, and competitive intelligence functions at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that he spent seven years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was in charge of strategic planning and portfolio management, as well as strategy and decision analysis for new product development, licensing and M&A.

Anthony has also served as a faculty member at the University of Charleston and Rutgers University where he became recognized internationally for his work on the chemical and genetic value of biodiversity. He also advised the World Bank, United Nations, and various U.S. government and multi-national agencies. Earlier in his career, Anthony worked in the public sector where he constructed a blueprint for the deregulation of US electricity generation, directed a billion-dollar capital improvement program and implemented regional water pollution control programs, and served as Chief Financial Officer of a major public sector utility.

About Synthetic Genomics

Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life.  SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges.  SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products.  The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer.  SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.

Media Contact

Ben Chiarelli, VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
media@syntheticgenomics.com

First Minimal Synthetic Bacterial Cell Designed and Constructed by Scientists at Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

(LA JOLLA, CA)—March 24, 2016—Researchers from Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) announced today the design and construction of the first minimal synthetic bacterial cell, JCVI-syn3.0. Using the first synthetic cell, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 (created by this same team in 2010), JCVI-syn3.0 was developed through a design, build, and test process using genes from JCVI-syn1.0. The new minimal synthetic cell contains 531,560 base pairs and just 473 genes, making it the smallest genome of any organism that can be grown in laboratory media. By comparison the first synthetic cell, M. mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 has 1.08 million base pairs and 901 genes.

A paper describing this research is being published in the March 25 print version of the journal Science by lead author Clyde A. Hutchison, III, Ph.D., senior author J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., and senior team of Hamilton O. Smith, MD, Daniel G. Gibson, Ph.D., and John I. Glass, Ph.D.

The team concludes that a major outcome of this minimal cell program are new tools and semi-automated processes for whole genome synthesis. Many of these synthetic biology tools are commercially accessible through kits, instruments and services provided by SGI and SGI-DNA including a synthetic DNA construction service specializing in building large and complex DNA fragments including combinatorial gene libraries, Archetype® genomics software, Gibson Assembly® kits, and the BioXp™ 3200 System, which is a benchtop instrument for producing accurate synthetic DNA fragments.

“This paper signifies a major step toward our ability to design and build synthetic organisms from the bottom up with predictable outcomes. The tools and knowledge gained from this work will be essential to producing next generation production platforms for a wide range of disciplines,” said Dr. Gibson, Vice President, DNA Technologies, SGI; Associate Professor, JCVI.

This work, in combination with the long legacy of “world’s first” innovations from SGI and JCVI, positions Synthetic Genomics to revolutionize genomic research and reinvent cell-based production processes. For decades, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, alternative energy, nutritional and bio-chemical companies have relied on legacy host systems to produce bio-based products and therapies. The design and construction of the first minimal cell lays the foundation for SGI and our partners to design and build biological systems for purpose, thus enabling improvements to existing products as well as the creation of novel solutions to solve global sustainability challenges.

”This important milestone lays the foundation to rationally design and engineer bio-based production systems. For example, we see a very large opportunity to revolutionize the discovery and manufacture of life-saving medicines produced biologically, an ever increasing portion of today’s most innovative medicines” said Oliver Fetzer, SGI CEO.

The press release from our collaboration partner, JCVI, can be found at: http://www.jcvi.org/research/projects/minimal-cell/

Video of JCVI-syn3.0 can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giEJK5zHJmw

About Synthetic Genomics
Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life. SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges. SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products. The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer. SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.

About J. Craig Venter Institute
The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and La Jolla, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 200 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The JCVI is a 501 (c)(3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.JCVI.org.

Media Contacts

Heather Kowalski
hkowalski@jcvi.org
858-361-0466

Ben Chiarelli, VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
media@syntheticgenomics.com

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. Hires Robert H. Cutler as General Counsel

La Jolla, CA, March 3, 2016 – Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a leader in the field of synthetic biology, announced today that Robert H. (Rob) Cutler is joining its executive team as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Rob has 20 years of corporate legal, intellectual property licensing, regulatory compliance, business development and mergers and acquisitions experience, most of which has been spent in the biotech industry in private and public companies and earlier in his career at leading law firms.

Oliver Fetzer, SGI CEO, said “We are pleased to add Rob to our executive team and look forward to advancing SGI’s industry leading synthetic biology platform under his counsel. Rob’s extensive experience in corporate transactions and corporate governance is an ideal fit as SGI accelerates its growth.  Rob’s life science expertise makes him well suited to play an integral part in SGI’s evolution.”

Rob received his Juris Doctor (JD) degree, graduating cum laude from the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School. Rob was most recently General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at LifeVantage Corporation from 2011-2015 where he was responsible for all legal, regulatory, and compliance activities, managed all securities filings, and led expansion into multiple foreign jurisdictions. Prior to LifeVantage, Rob was Vice President, Business Development for Somaxon Pharmaceuticals. Rob also served as Associate General Counsel and Senior Director, Business Development at Biogen Idec Inc. from 2001-2010 where he managed business development efforts for the oncology business unit and closed over $1.5 billion in transactions including acquisitions, multi-product collaborations, strategic alliances, product divestitures and research and academic collaborations.  Prior to joining Biogen Idec, Rob spent several years in private law practice with two large full service law firms where he counseled both private and public companies in securities matters, general corporate transactions and mergers and acquisitions.

About Synthetic Genomics

Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life. SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges. SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products. The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer. SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.

Media Contact

Ben Chiarelli, VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
media@syntheticgenomics.com

SGI-DNA Launches Automated Cloning Module for the BioXp™ 3200 System and Reaches another Instrument Milestone

LA JOLLA, CA – January 13, 2016 – SGI-DNA, a Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) company, announced today that the world’s first DNA printer, the BioXp™ 3200 System, has reached another milestone with the release of the BioXp™ cloning module. The addition of the cloning module to the instrument repertoire further solidifies SGI-DNA as an industry leader at the forefront of synthetic biology innovations and solutions. Users of the BioXp™ System cloning module may focus on DNA analytics and discovery, instead of the traditional time- and labor-intensive steps involved in DNA cloning. Simply stated, the BioXp™ System automates and expedites DNA cloning, a procedure used in nearly every academic and commercial molecular biology laboratory worldwide.

BioXp™ 3200 System Capabilities

The BioXp™ genomic workstation generates high-quality, linear DNA fragments from custom designed oligonucleotide pools and reagents. Now, with the introduction of the cloning module, the BioXp™ System has the additional capability to simultaneously deliver up to 24 circular DNA clones from custom DNA sequences. The launch of this first-of-its-kind module allows researchers to obtain cloned de novo DNA fragments in the laboratory virtually hands-free, further automating and shortening molecular biology work flows.

Julie Robinson, SGI Senior Product Manager comments, “In just 9 months, since the BioXp™ System was first launched, SGI-DNA is delivering on its stated plan to expand instrument capabilities. Our more than 25 life science research laboratory customers throughout the United States can upgrade their systems seamlessly over the internet without any hardware changes.  This scalable design is at the heart for the BioXp™ system.  By launching the cloning module SGI-DNA is moving from early access to full launch of the BioXp™ 3200 System.”

BioXp™ 3200 System Future Plans

The instrument’s multifunctional deck enables the machine to be upgraded to automate molecular biology workflows even more fully over time. Currently customers can order the machine, have it installed, and begin making DNA clones in a matter of weeks. SGI-DNA works closely with customers to optimize their use of the machine and has a complete line of DNA synthesis products and services which complement the BioXp™ 3200 System.

Due to its novelty and flexibility of use, the BioXp™ System was awarded Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 New Product Innovation Award for Synthetic Biology. The instrument also received CE Mark certification in 2015, allowing it to be sold in Europe, with plans to launch the product overseas in 2016. The adoption of the instrument at several leading biotechnology companies, government laboratories, and research institutions portends that global demand for the BioXp™3200 System will be strong.

About Synthetic Genomics

Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including developing new synthetic DNA products, tools and instruments through SGI-DNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of SGI. Building on the scientific advancements and breakthroughs from leading scientists such as J. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, Clyde Hutchison, Dan Gibson and their teams, SGI-DNA utilizes unique and proprietary DNA technologies to accelerate the pace of synthetic biology discovery and innovation.

Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., MBA, chief executive officer of Synthetic Genomics, Inc., will provide a corporate overview and presentation at the J.P. Morgan 34th Annual Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT) in San Francisco, California.

For more information about our latest advances and the award-winning BioXp™ 3200 Instrument, please visit www.sgidna.com.

Media Contact

Mary Canady, Senior Marketing Manager
mcanady@syntheticgenomics.com
858.260.1413

Synthetic Genomics, Inc. to Present at the J.P. Morgan 34th Annual Healthcare Conference

LA JOLLA, CA – January 6, 2016 – Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) announced today that Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., MBA, chief executive officer of Synthetic Genomics, Inc., will provide a corporate overview and presentation at the J.P. Morgan 34th Annual Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT) in San Francisco, California.

About Synthetic Genomics

SGI is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. We are using this technology, and developing new and more advanced methods, to create the next generation of renewable and sustainably-produced biology-based products.The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including developing new synthetic DNA products, tools and instruments; improving existing production hosts and developing new synthetic hosts; developing new and improved algae-based biofuels, food and nutritional products; and developing synthetically-derived vaccines and anti-microbials. The company is also developing sustainable agricultural products through AgraCast, a company co-founded with Plenus S.A. de C.V. For more information go to: www.syntheticgenomics.com

Contacts

Company Contact:
Ben Chiarelli, VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
media@syntheticgenomics.com

Media Contact
Jason I. Spark, Senior Vice President Canale Communications
jason@canalecomm.com
619.849.6005

SGI-DNA Launches Cell Engineering Services for Custom Cell Line Development

(LA JOLLA, CA) December 15, 2015- SGI-DNA, a Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) company, has launched a suite of Cell Engineering Services for generation of custom mammalian cell lines for research use.  Cell lines developed using this service are appropriate for the expression of novel proteins as well as a variety of functional studies, including cell-based assays for compound screening.

The introduction of this service provides research laboratories access to all aspects of SGI’s extensive cell engineering experience for design, development and generation of custom cell lines with novel properties. Unique to this service is the SGI Archetype® software which offers extensive genomic databases, proprietary algorithms, and bioinformatics tool sets to aid design.

For each project, SGI-DNA’s scientific staff collaborates with clients and partners to provide expert insight and develop innovative strategies that leverage their advanced technologies. To ensure reliable data, cell lines developed by SGI-DNA are verified by sequencing and further validated upon customer request. This results in a fully-optimized cell engineering approach designed to alleviate challenges, such as variable protein expression, low product yields, and protein instability.

As part of the development of this service, experienced SGI-DNA scientists have applied their knowledge to a range of projects including:

  • The development of customized strategies for optimized mammalian cell engineering
  • The creation of heterozygous and homozygous knockout or knockin cell types
  • Custom SNP generation
  • Targeted mutation of mammalian cell genomes
  • The generation of  cell lines with custom synthetic DNA encoding novel genes, pathways and expression cassettes
  • The introduction of novel DNA sequences at specific genomic sites

“SGI’s research efforts have greatly expanded our mammalian cell engineering capabilities. This has allowed us to develop innovative approaches to address extremely complex mammalian cell engineering challenges in our collaborations with leading biopharmaceutical partners.” said Sean Stevens, SGI’s leader of Mammalian Synthetic Biology.  “Through SGI-DNA, we can now offer precise cell engineering services which take advantage of our unique combination of proprietary sequence databases, state of the art bioinformatics, and experimental know-how.”

Key advantages of SGI-DNA’s Cell Engineering Service:

  • Generation of novel genotypes through mutations at multiple genomic loci
  • Creation of complex multigenic DNA constructs
  • Combination of expression modulation, various reporter genes, generation of knock-in and knock-out cell lines
  • Minimization of off-target risks through the use of proprietary bioinformatics algorithms
  • Expression of virtually any gene sequence with selection markers of your choice

A key technology behind SGI-DNA’s Cell Engineering Services is the Gibson Assembly® method, developed in 2009 by Dan Gibson and his colleagues at the J. Craig Venter Institute along with Synthetic Genomics. In 2010 this well-established approach was used to create the first fully synthetic cell. Since the commercial introduction of the Gibson Assembly® method to the life science community by SGI-DNA, this method has become a mainstay in many synthetic biology laboratories and has attracted interest from both the academic and commercial life sciences community due to its ease-of-use, robustness, and flexibility.

To request a quote or for more information, please visit www.sgidna.com/cellengineering

All products and services are intended for research use only. Not intended for diagnostic or therapeutic uses.

The Gibson Assembly® method is also available under commercial license. For more information contact us at info@sgidna.com

About SGI-DNA

SGI-DNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Synthetic Genomics, Inc (SGI), is responsible for all commercial aspects of SGI’s synthetic DNA business and focuses on strategic business relationships with both academic and commercial researchers. Building on the scientific advancements and breakthroughs from leading scientists such as J. Craig Venter, Ham Smith, Clyde Hutchison, Dan Gibson and their teams, SGI-DNA utilizes unique and proprietary DNA technologies to produce complex synthetic genes and reagents. SGI-DNA also offers the BioXp™ 3200 System, the world’s first DNA printer, in addition to a comprehensive suite of genomic services, including whole genome sequencing, library design, bioinformatics services, and reagent kits to enable synthetic biology.

Media Contact

Mary Canady, 858-433-4994, mcanady@syntheticgenomics.com

SGI-DNA Launches BioXp™ 3200 System Beta-Testing of a Cloning Module to Provide Scientists the Unprecedented Ability to Synthesize and Clone DNA Virtually Hands-Free

(LA JOLLA, CA) December 3, 2015 – SGI-DNA Inc., a Synthetic Genomics Inc. company, announces the launch of beta-testing of the BioXp™ 3200 System Cloning Module, equipping researchers with the ability to synthesize and clone their DNA with an overnight instrument run. The benchtop BioXp™ System, the world’s first DNA printer, is a genomic workstation that generates high-quality DNA from custom designed reagents. Now, with the introduction of the Cloning Module, the BioXp™ System has the additional capability to assemble and simultaneously deliver up to 24 DNA clones from custom DNA sequences submitted electronically. The launch of this first-of-its-kind module allows researchers the ability to obtain cloned de novo DNA fragments in the laboratory virtually hands-free, further automating and shortening molecular biology work flows without relying on a service company.

Development and release of the BioXp™ System Cloning Module marks the first additional application since our early access release in April of 2015. Integrating Gibson Assembly® technology within the automated BioXp™ System workflow empowers customers with the ability to focus on scientific discovery and analytics by releasing users from traditional hands-on, time‑intensive, tedious DNA cloning methods.

“It’s truly exciting that the technologies we developed for simplifying molecular biology are now being automated by the BioXp™ System,” said Daniel Gibson, Ph.D., Vice President of DNA Technology at SGI. “The cloning module is very important as it will pave the way to help researchers streamline the study of genes and gene families at an unprecedented rate.”

BioXp™ System customers are at the forefront of genomics innovation as it is poised to meet the growing demand for large-scale, automated DNA synthesis and cloning projects of both the academic and commercial life science community.

For more information on the Assembly and Cloning Module of the BioXp™ 3200 System, visit www.sgidna.com.

All products are for research use only and are not intended for diagnostic uses.

The Gibson Assembly® method is also available under commercial license. For more information, contact us at info@sgidna.com

About the Gibson Assembly® Method

The Gibson Assembly® method was developed in 2009 by Dan Gibson, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the J. Craig Venter Institute during the team’s quest to construct the first synthetic cell.  Since its introduction, the Gibson Assembly® method has become a mainstay in many synthetic biology laboratories and has attracted interest from both the academic and commercial life sciences community due to its ease-of-use, robustness, and flexibility.

About SGI-DNA

SGI-DNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), is responsible for all commercial aspects of SGI’s synthetic DNA business and focuses on strategic business relationships with both academic and commercial entities. Building on the scientific advancements and breakthroughs from leading scientists such as J. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, Clyde Hutchison, Dan Gibson and their teams, SGI-DNA utilizes unique and proprietary DNA technologies to produce complex synthetic genes and reagents. SGI-DNA also offers a comprehensive suite of genomic services, including whole genome sequencing, library design, bioinformatics, cell engineering, and plasmid DNA services.

Media Contact

Mary Canady, 858-433-4994, mcanady@syntheticgenomics.com

Synthetic Genomics Inc. Expands Collaborative Research and Development Agreement with Lung Biotechnology PBC, a Subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation, to Develop Organs for Transplantation

Lung Biotechnology Makes Additional $50M Equity Investment in SGI

(LA JOLLA, CA (September 22, 2015)—Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), a privately held company developing and commercializing genomic driven advancements in a variety of industries, and Lung Biotechnology PBC, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), today announced they have expanded their multi-year research and development agreement to develop transplantation-ready pig organs using synthetic genomic advances. The companies initially focused efforts on lung diseases and will now also include kidney diseases. As part of the agreement, SGI will receive royalties and milestones from the development and commercialization of the organs.

SGI is also announcing an additional $50 million equity investment by Lung Biotechnology.  Financial details were not disclosed.  Lung Biotechnology previously invested $50 million in SGI preferred stock in April, 2014.

“We are excited to expand our collaboration with United Therapeutics with the goal to provide organs to patients in high need,” said Oliver S. Fetzer, Ph.D., CEO of SGI. “The progress on the program to date using SGI’s proprietary cell engineering technology has enhanced our confidence and will now be expanded to an additional transplantable organ.  We look forward to deepening the collaboration with our partner United Therapeutics and to combine our expertise to help these patients.”

United Therapeutics Chairman and Co-CEO Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D. added, “Our expanded collaboration with Synthetic Genomics is significant for applying our growing xenotransplantation science platform to the problem of end-stage renal failure.  Our combined expertise will accelerate our efforts to develop an expanded supply of transplantable kidneys, potentially helping tens of thousands of patients suffering from incurable kidney disease.”

Using unique DNA design, DNA synthesis and genome editing, as well as genome modification tools, SGI will develop engineered primary pig cells with modified genomes. This work will entail modification of a substantial number of genes at an unprecedented scale and efficiency.  United Therapeutics will leverage its xenotransplantation expertise to implant these engineered cells, generating pig embryos which develop and are born with transplantable organs. With the science and technology advances made by the SGI team over the last years, the companies are striving to develop these new methods and advances to create organs that are safe and effective for use in humans.

Treatments for kidney failure include dialysis and transplantation, and there were more than 600,000 people with end-stage kidney disease under treatment in the United States during 2012.  More than 50,000 people are added to the kidney transplant wait list each year with more than 100,000 total awaiting a kidney transplant in the United States. The tremendous shortfall of donor organs, results in only about 17,000 United States kidney transplants annually.
Previous attempts to rectify this shortage with animal organs have failed due to genomic incompatibilities, especially with respect to immune and coagulation systems. The collaboration between Synthetic Genomics and Lung Biotechnology aims to eliminate these genomic incompatibilities.

About Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI)

SGI is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including developing new synthetic DNA products, tools and instruments through its subsidiary, SGI-DNA; new and improved algae based food and nutritional products, and biofuels through its subsidiary Genovia Bio; and synthetically-derived vaccines and anti-microbials through Synthetic Genomic Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), a business unit co-founded with the J. Craig Venter Institute. The company is also developing clean water technologies using microbial fuel cells and is developing sustainable agricultural products through AgraCast, a company co-founded with Plenus S.A. de C.V.  For more information go to: www.syntheticgenomics.com

SGI Media Contact

Heather Kowalski, hkowalski@syntheticgenomics.com, 858-361-0466