DNA Script Signs Innovation Development Contract with French Defense Innovation Agency to Enable On-demand Diagnostics Against Emerging Biothreats

PARIS and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. | January 28, 2021

Company will receive $1.6 Million to develop a qPCR probe manufacturing platform to enable the fast detection of highly pathogenic viruses and bacteria

DNA Script, a leading pioneer in enabling DNA synthesis on demand, today announced a partnership with the French Defense Innovation Agency, in liaison with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), to develop a prototype for rapid mobile manufacturing of DNA primers and probes, key components of detection and diagnostic tests for pathogens. The joint project will employ DNA Script’s novel enzymatic synthesis platform to quickly generate high-fidelity nucleic acids. The prototypes to be developed by DNA Script will be evaluated by the DGA. As part of the agreement, DNA Script will receive $1.6 million in funding. 

In an emerging biothreat, like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, conventional sources of supply for key reagents (qPCR primers and probes in particular) become a limiting factor. Therefore, it is essential to enable an on-demand, agile source for custom reagent manufacturing. The DGA identified DNA Script’s SYNTAX™️ platform, a benchtop instrument that synthesizes high-quality, custom nucleic acids in hours, a key capability that enables scientists to iterate faster in response to emerging biothreats, as a potential solution. The underlying core technology, enzymatic DNA synthesis, mimics the enzymatic process used by nature, thus avoiding the use of harsh organic solvents or the need to avoid the presence of air or water as required by conventional chemical approaches commercially available today.   

DNA Script will adapt its SYNTAX™️ platform to enable the synthesis of the DNA reagents such as Taqman probes, required in PCR-based molecular biology diagnostics. SYNTAX™️ is the world’s first instrument to use an enzymatic process for nucleic acid synthesis.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the French Ministry for Armed Forces on this important initiative to rapidly detect, characterize and mitigate threats from newly emerging or engineered pathogens,” said Thomas Ybert, Chief Executive Officer of DNA Script. “We believe that the speed, efficiency and ease of use of our SYNTAX™️ nucleic acid printer and underlying enzymatic synthesis technology will be critical in addressing future pandemics.”