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Evonetix, Imec Collaborate on Silicon Chip Manufacturing for DNA Synthesis

NEW YORK – Evonetix announced Monday a partnership with Belgium-based nanoelectronics firm Imec to increase the scale of production of Evonetix's silicon chips for use in DNA synthesis.

Under the agreement, the firms will work together to scale up manufacturing of Evonetix's microelectromechanical systems-based chips on 8-inch silicon wafers.

"With the support of Imec, a world-renowned leader in microchip technology, we will be able to optimize our highly parallel desktop platform for commercial supply," Evonetix CTO Matthew Hayes said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

UK-based Evonetix is developing a desktop device for DNA synthesis. In 2018, it partnered with LioniX International to develop a bespoke silicon array to enable high-throughput production of gene-length DNA. Evonetix also closed a $12.3 million funding round in 2018 and launched a £1.3 million ($1.7 million) project in partnership with Durham University to develop its technology.

"We have extensive practical knowledge of chip design and technology, which we use to help develop innovative tools for the life sciences and pharma R&D," Peter Peumans, Imec VP of life science technologies, said in a statement. "Evonetix has developed an innovative approach that integrates physics and biology to enable the production of high-fidelity long DNA in a highly parallel fashion. We are eager to contribute to their success using our nanotechnology capabilities."

In March 2019, Imec announced it is working on solid-state nanopore technologies for single-molecule sensing and DNA sequencing applications.