June 15, 2017
Twist Bioscience and the BioBricks Foundation Announce Partnership to Provide 10,000 Public-Benefit Genes to the Synthetic Biology Community
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – June 15, 2017 – Twist Bioscience, a company accelerating science and innovation through rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis, and the BioBricks Foundation today announced a groundbreaking agreement to provide 10,000 genes to the synthetic biology community.
Under the terms of the agreement, the BioBricks Foundation (BBF) will pay for synthesis of 10,000 genes from Twist Bioscience. The BBF will moderate a free and open online forum that allows researchers anywhere to suggest which genes should be built. Genes garnering enough “up votes” that are determined to be of public benefit may then be prioritized for selection by BBF. Twist Bioscience will apply its normal safety and security screenings to these sequences. Once manufactured, the genes will be made freely available by the BBF via the terms of the Open Material Transfer Agreement (OpenMTA). The BBF-Twist Bioscience agreement represents the first time that multiple genome-equivalents of synthetic DNA will be made available at no cost to the research community.
“Most of biotechnology has yet to be imagined let alone made true,” said Drew Endy, Ph.D., associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and president of the BioBricks Foundation. “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. Importantly, this publicly available DNA enabled by Twist Bioscience will serve as an educational means for the larger community to explore the use of synthetic DNA and help drive future demand.”
“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,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO of Twist Bioscience. “This innovative partnership with BioBricks Foundation truly sets the stage for widespread acceleration of research concepts for the public good.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About BioBricks Foundation
The BioBricks Foundation (BBF) is a charity whose mission is to advance biotechnology in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet. Ongoing projects include the bionet, a free-to-use, peer-peer information and inventory management system supporting scalable exchange of functional biomaterials (www.bionet.io), and the Open Materials Transfer Agreement (www.openmta.org). To learn more please visit us online (www.biobricks.org).
About Twist Bioscience
At Twist Bioscience, our expertise is accelerating science and innovation by leveraging the power of scale. We have developed a proprietary semiconductor-based synthetic DNA manufacturing process featuring a high throughput silicon platform capable of producing synthetic biology tools, including genes, oligonucleotide pools and variant libraries. By synthesizing DNA on silicon instead of on traditional 96-well plastic plates, our platform overcomes the current inefficiencies of synthetic DNA production, and enables cost-effective, rapid, high-quality and high throughput synthetic gene production, which in turn, expedites the design, build and test cycle to enable personalized medicines, pharmaceuticals, sustainable chemical production, improved agriculture production, diagnostics and biodetection. We are also developing new technologies to address large scale data storage. For more information, please visit www.twistbioscience.com. Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our Twitter feed @TwistBioscience at https://twitter.com/TwistBioscience.