August 1, 2018

News Digest #229 – $85.4 m for Sutro, $23 m for Mammoth Biosciences, Peter Thiel + Wild Earth, CRISPR crops hurdles and space bioprinters

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Hi all,

I’m excited to be partnering with the Open Philanthropy Project at SynBioBeta this year to bring you the biosecurity and synthetic biology fellowship program. If you are a graduate student or early-to mid-career professional in synthetic biology or biosecurity then apply now to be a Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Conference Fellow at SynBioBeta 2018. Up to 30 fellows will be covered by the program which includes conference registration, travel, lodging, food, and transportation costs. We’re also including a special plenary session on this topic that will be chaired by Gigi Gronvall from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.



This week, Ryan Bethencourt’s company Wild Earth, which is developing sustainable protein pet foods, closed a seed funding round with $450,000 investment from Peter Thiel and Founders Fund. Their first product, a koji-based dog treat with all ten essential amino acids dogs require, will be available in late summer. Ryan’s speaking at SynBioBeta and I hope he’ll be throwing the crowd these delicious dog treats and ringing Pavlov’s bell loudly!

In other news, Mammoth Biosciences, the company behind the world’s first CRISPR-based disease detection platform, announced $23 million in funding to bring CRISPR out of the lab and into everyday life. Congrats to Biossance™, the clean beauty brand from Amyris, which is expanding into 668 more of Sephora stores across Americas region. Take it to the market, John!

2018 is the year of cell-free bio, and Sutro Biopharma didn’t disappoint with their announced $85.4 million series E round to fund novel cancer treatments using a cell-free protein synthesis platform.

Our latest speakers at SynBioBeta 2018 include Jake Beal from Raytheon BBN Technologies, who will be speaking about engineering biological regulatory devices and standards for representation of biological designs, Shahram Seyedin-Noor, the Founder of Civilization Ventures, who will be speaking about their fund focused on synthetic biology and health tech, and Liz Specht, Senior Scientist at GFI, who will speak about sustainable, plant-based meat R&D.

Next week, Will Canine will be discussing his vision for the future of lab automation, and how the OT-2 can automate hundreds of life science protocols and workflows: Register now for SynBioBetaLive with Opentrons.


Be there, or keep manually pipetting - the choice is yours.

Regards,
John

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Zbiotics says it’s bioengineered a hangover cure
Doulix launches new DNA assembly tool, the MoCLO wizard, perfect for iGEM students

All the News


SciBac awarded up to $3.76M by CARB-X to develop hybrid microbes as a drug for C. diff (Press release)
Americans have some really mixed feelings about editing human embryos
(Popular Science)
Explore how Joyn Bio is bringing advanced techniques to reduce the need for artificial fertilizers and make agriculture more sustainable (YouTube)
DNA repair after CRISPR cutting not at all what people thought (UC Berkeley)
CRISPR plants now subject to tough GM laws in European Union (Nature News)
European ruling could slow Africa’s push for CRISPR Crops (Wired)
Poseida Therapeutics awarded $3.99 million grant to develop CAR-T therapy for prostate cancer (Press release)
Scientist.com recognized as San Diego’s second fastest-growing company (Press release)
EPFL scientists have developed new nanotube biosensors using synthetic biology, which improves their sensing capabilities in complex biofluids

Who's Hiring?

VP Manufacturing – DNA Script, Paris, France
VP Industrial Property - DNA Script, Paris, France
Synthetic biologist/Protein engineer: XENO Cell Innovations, Pilsen, Czech Republic
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