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Codexis, Molecular Assemblies Ink Commercial License and Enzyme Supply Agreement

NEW YORK – Enzyme engineering company Codexis and synthetic biology firm Molecular Assemblies said on Tuesday that they have reached a commercial license and enzyme supply agreement.

As part of the agreement, San Diego-based Molecular Assemblies has exclusively licensed a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) enzyme engineered by Codexis for its Fully Enzymatic Synthesis (FES) technology. The financial terms of the agreement also include milestone payments of an undisclosed amount from Molecular Assemblies to Codexis and royalties on sales of oligonucleotides synthesized using FES technology.

Based in Redwood City, California, Codexis partnered with Molecular Assemblies in 2020 to develop a TdT enzyme suitable for fully enzymatic DNA synthesis. The company has also invested in Molecular Assemblies' Series A and B financing. Although Codexis' proprietary TdT enzyme is exclusive to Molecular Assemblies, a Codexis official previously said that the company holds the intellectual property for the enzyme.

Molecular Assemblies said it will launch a program later this year to provide select researchers with priority access to long, custom oligonucleotides synthesized with its FES technology. This program is expected to enable researchers to accelerate their research for gene editing, including CRISPR technologies, next-generation sequencing, and gene assembly applications, the company said.

"Codexis created a highly enhanced TdT polymerase that surpassed performance expectations in a record amount of time, and this agreement solidifies our commercial position," Molecular Assemblies President and CEO Michael Kamdar said in a statement. "This commercial license and supply agreement puts Molecular Assemblies in a position to achieve our commercialization objectives ahead of schedule."

Molecular Assemblies has previously said that it will focus on a service model once FES is commercialized.