Ribbon Biolabs successfully synthesises a 10 kbp DNA molecule using their FullGenes platform
The DNA Synthesis company Ribbon Biolabs announces the achievement of a key technology milestone, underlining its capability and potential. Using its in-house platform FullGenes, the team of Ribbon Biolabs recently produced and delivered a synthetic linear double-stranded DNA molecule with a record length of 10.116 base pairs (bp) according to a customer’s specification.
Ribbon Biolabs’ FullGenes platform is a radically new approach that uses combinatorial optimisation algorithms to guide the automated enzymatic assembly of DNA. The platform applies robotic adaptive control in a sequence specific manner to ensure highest accuracy of the synthesised DNA. The technology is being developed to address the growing market need for synthetic DNA of sub-genomic size, a basic component in biotech research and development. The length of the synthesised sequence goes beyond the current technological capabilities for the de novo synthesis of DNA, which are usually limited to about 2 to 3 kbp.
“This is a major milestone in the development of our technology”, says Harold de Vladar, CEO and founder of Ribbon Biolabs. “In November 2020, we successfully synthesised the complete genome of the bacteriophage M13, a sequence of 6,700 bp and now we have crossed the 10 kbp threshold. This not only shows the potential of our technology but also the pace of our progress.“
The FullGenes technology for DNA synthesis will not only allow for the production of extremely long molecules, but also for high throughput and extremely fast turnover times of only days, which, in relation to the industry’s standards of weeks or even months, is a ground-breaking development.
“Hitting this milestone of making molecules longer than 10Kbp in such a simple manner is really a remarkable achievement,” says Prof. Eörs Szathmáry, member of Ribbon Biolabs’ Scientific Advisory Board and Director of the Centre for the Conceptual Foundations of Science of Parmenides Foundation in Munich. “This puts the science and technology of biology, both fundamental and applied, in a position to address problems that were simply non-addressable, and to provide solutions that were unthinkable.”
Synthetic DNA is an essential component for further developments in biotech research and therefor a key to one of the most rapidly growing markets that has disruptive potential for many industries.
However, existing methods for automated DNA synthesis are limited at several hundred base pairs - too short compared to the functional units required for R&D and biologics production that will pave the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industries relying on DNA synthesis technologies include the biopharmaceutical and biotech sectors as well as a range of verticals such as agricultural biotech, green tech, data storage, biofuels and super-foods, to name a few.
Having its unique technology for solving these problems in place, Ribbon Biolabs aims to be an inflection point in the Bio-Economy by becoming the prime provider of long DNA molecules.
About Ribbon Biolabs
Ribbon Biolabs is a biotech start-up developing a radically new technology for the automated synthesis of long DNA molecules to support innovators in biotechnology. The company was founded in Vienna, Austria in 2018 by Harold P. Vladar and Wladimir Labeikovsky. Ribbon Biolabs could secure a first investment by its equity partners IST cube and tecnet equity in 2019 and around 1,6 M EUR in public funding by AWS, FFG, Wiener Wirtschaftsagentur and the European Commission.