Home » Emerging technologies » DNA synthesis » News Digest #247 – Twist’s IPO, Ginkgo’s Bioworks4, iGEM’s winners, and Geltor’s Series A

News Digest #247 – Twist’s IPO, Ginkgo’s Bioworks4, iGEM’s winners, and Geltor’s Series A


SynBioBeta Digest

Your guide to what’s new in synthetic biology

Hi all,

Today is an exciting day for the synthetic biology industry as Emily Leproust, Twist Bioscience CEO, will be ringing the closing bell on the NASDAQ as Twist goes public today. Twist has priced its initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $14.00 per share. Emily said: “We are thrilled to take this next step in our evolution to continue to enable our customers to change the world by improving health and sustainability.” Read our story about Twist’s IPO here.

This week, Ginkgo Bioworks opened its latest biological engineering foundry, Bioworks4, which will be dedicated to the engineering of human and animal cells. Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder, says they’re “thrilled to open Bioworks4 and look forward to contributing to the infrastructure that will one day make starting a pharma company as easy as starting an internet company, and simultaneously enable big pharma to be as agile as a startup.” Ginkgo also held their first annual Ferment conference in Boston last week.

Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks at SynBioBeta.

I was at iGEM last week seeing what the future holds — check out the winners here. My photos above are of iGEM Aix-Marseille who developed a genetic bed bug trap! I also met Tiare Ribeaux of Counter Culture Labs at the Global Community Bio Summit 2018 organized by David Kong, which we’ll be writing up in a later issue of our newsletter.

Also, if you missed the SynBioBeta 2018 session on engineered cell therapies (sponsored by Synthego), you can read our writer Chris Patil’s excellent summary of the session here.

In other news, Geltor announced $18.2 million in Series A financing to create high-value designer proteins by fermentation. The company is producing collagen for the beauty, nutraceutical, and food and beverage industries, while producing less waste and consuming fewer natural resources than the current process sourced from animal waste. Touchlight Genetics announced a collaboration with Janssen Biotech to evaluate the application of their novel DNA platform across a wide range of applications in genetic medicine. Charles River and Distributed Bio announced a partnership to create an integrated antibody discovery and development platform.

Alexander Lorestani, Co-Founder and CEO of Geltor, and Sarah Milsom, Group Business Development Manager at Touchlight Genetics.

Finally, Y Combinator announced a request for startups and nonprofits focusing on technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere. “It’s time to take big swings at stopping climate change and put more resources into work already being done”, writes Sam Altman. Our next course “Introduction to Synthetic Biology” will take place on January 24 at Impact.tech. Learn about the growing power of biology to perform useful tasks and make high value products from drugs to spiders silk, register here.

Have a great week!


Latest news

Insert alt text here

USPTO grants second Charpentier/Doudna patent covering CRISPR/Cas9

Read more →


Genome surgery is not science fiction anymore

Read more →

Synthetic biology investors are a mix of life sciences and traditional technology investors

Read more →

Tweaking just a few genes in wild plants can create new food crops – but let’s get the regulation right

Read more →

Deinove and Calibr to explore the anti-infectious potential of bacterial collection

Read more →

Elpis Biomed human cell models could replace animal experiments in drug discovery

Read more →

Thanks to our sponsors:

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Twist Bioscience


Mintz Levin

More reads

More reads

Revive & Restore announces the first grant from the recently launched Catalyst Science Fund

International student teams, industry leaders, executives and investors descend upon Boston for the iGEM Giant Jamboree (Press release)

Can a company succeed without a hierarchy? (Yale Insights)

These gorgeous colors come from dye made by bacteria, not chemicals (Fast Company)

Business Minister visits Bristol BioDesign Institute and Unit DX

IndieBio Demo Day – November 6, 2018 at Herbst Theater

Food crops treated with synthetic plant hormone could grow in space, study suggests (Genetic Literacy)

Are we immune to the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors? (EurekAlert)

Senti Biosciences announces Dr. Gary Lee as Chief Scientific Officer (Press release)

Twist Bioscience Adds Ray Tabibiazar, M.D., as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Business Strategy (Press release)

Intrexon announces the formation of bioinformatics hub in Munich (Press release)

Scientists engineer organisms similar to those thought to have lived billions of years ago (Scripps Research)

New CRISPR tool opens up more of the genome for editing (MIT)

Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Research Associate II/Senior Research Associate – Strain Analytics: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

Junior Strategist @ BWK

Microbial Formulation Process Development Senior Scientist: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

ARPA-E Program Director in Synthetic Biology

Head of Operations – Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston, MA

Data Quality Research Associate: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

Senior Software Engineer (Synthetic Biology Automation), Edinburgh Genome Foundry

Feature your job here →


Click here to join our weekly newsletter. We want to hear what you think about this article. Got a tip for our news team? Write to editorial@synbiobeta.com.

Editor’s picks