Twist Bioscience, a leader in the field of DNA synthesis, and BioBricks Foundation, a charity foundation for the advancement of biotechnology, announced today an agreement to provide 10,000 genes to the synthetic biology community.
With this pioneering agreement, BioBricks will pay for the synthesis of genes from Twist. BioBricks then will manage a no cost open online forum that will allow researchers worldwide to offer suggestions on which genes should be built. The genes chosen by most researchers that are deemed to be of public benefit may be then given precedence to for selection by BioBricks.
Twist will implement its standard safety and security screenings to the chosen sequences. Once the genes are manufactured, they will be made readily available by BioBricks per the terms of the Open Material Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA). The Twist/BioBricks agreement makes available for the first time multiple genome-equivalents of synthetic DNA to the research community at no cost.
Drew Endy, Ph.D.. who is an Associate Professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and the President of BioBricks Foundation commented about this unique agreement: “By enabling everyone to work together to create a free-to-use dictionary of genes, we believe that many more people will be able to benefit from biology and be enabled as “citizens” of biotechnology. We are thrilled to be working with Twist Bioscience, the only company able to provide DNA at this scale and quality.”
Emily Leproust, Ph.D., CEO of Twist Bioscience remarked about the agreement: “We are currently in the era of biology, with exponential discoveries taking place every day as researchers explore the potential of DNA to facilitate the development of new medical treatments and cures, to replace oil as the base component in industrial chemicals, to advance food security worldwide and even to serve as a means of digital data storage.” “This innovative partnership with BioBricks Foundation truly sets the stage for widespread acceleration of research concepts for the public good.”
No details on the financial terms of the agreement were disclosed.
The opportunities afforded by this landmark agreement are sure to be many and the benefits to the synthetic biology community far-reaching.0