DNA Script, the global leader in the development of enzymatic DNA synthesis, today announced that it has successfully synthesized the world’s first 150-nucleotide (nt) strand of DNA by de novo enzymatic synthesis. DNA Script’s enzymatic approach reaches up to 99.5 percent efficacy for each nucleotide added, achieving parity with traditional chemical synthesis.. DNA Script shared these results during a presentation at SynBioBeta 2018 — the premier conference for synthetic biology, held in San Francisco.
“The technology developed by DNA Script is now on par with the performance of current commercial solutions done with the aid of phosphoramidite reagents. DNA Script is the first organization — commercial or academic — to demonstrate the feasibility of enzymatic DNA synthesis, proving the incredible potential of this nascent technology. In May, we announced a world-first with the enzymatic synthesis of a 50 nt strand of DNA, and we have been able to triple our performance in just four months. By 2019, we expect to be able to synthesize DNA strands several hundred nucleotides in length. The speed at which our enzymatic synthesis technique has progressed — from a single incorporation to 150 nt in just four years — significantly outperforms the historical trend for phosphoramidite chemistry.” said Thomas Ybert, PhD, CEO and cofounder of DNA Script.
In the experiments routinely run by the R&D team at DNA Script, sequences of the four natural nucleotides are randomly generated in silico and then automatically synthesized in vitro on the hardware platform developed by the company, without any physical template.
Ybert added: “This is only the beginning. Our goal is now to go way beyond chemistry. In the long term, DNA Script plans to print DNA strands up to 1,000 nt in about a day. In the last 12 months, the company increased its secured financing up to $27m, was granted 2 patents, filed 5 new patent applications and grew its team to 35. We intend to release the first commercial products to early adopters within 12 months. Our priority is now on building the organization to deliver on that ambitious plan.”
As the field of genomics accelerates, innovative genome editing technologies are driving advancements in life science research. DNA is the driving force behind life science experiments in fields as divergent as synthetic biology, sequencing, clinical diagnostics, CRISPR editing, cancer therapeutics, epigenetics, protein discovery and engineering — as well as data storage. However, the demand for DNA is not always met in these fields. Synthetic DNA manufacturing often creates a workflow bottleneck consequently slowing down innovation in life science. For the past 50 years, synthetic DNA has indeed been manufactured through a complex chemical process with limitations in terms of quality, turn-around time and manufacturing flexibility. In contrast, DNA Script has developed a novel biochemical process for nucleic acid synthesis based on the use of highly efficient enzymes. This technology mimics the way nature produces genetic code. DNA Script’s technology enables enhanced performance and simplified process while minimizing the use of harsh chemicals and is therefore ideally positioned to unleash the development of innovative solutions in life sciences.