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DNA2.0 Wins NSF Funding

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Synthetic gene developer DNA 2.0 said today that it will use a grant from the National Science Foundation to continue to advance its synthetic biology technologies, with a specific focus on mammalian cells.

The firm plans to use the Small Business Innovation Research award to extend its gene optimization algorithms for protein expression, which is used in producing hosts for human therapeutics.

According to DNA2.0, this is a NSF Phase IIb grant for $300,000. For Phase II, the firm had received $800,000, bringing the total for this research to over $1 million.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is continuing to develop technologies it made for use in unicellular systems, such as E. coli and yeast, for use with humans.

"By applying experimental design methods borrowed from other engineering disciplines, we can enable automated gene design that ensures consistent high-protein expression in your host of choice," DNA2.0 Director for Gene Design Mark Welch said in a statement.

"Mammalian cells are often critical for the production of fully-functional mammalian proteins, which account for the majority of high-value protein therapeutics and therapeutic targets. Poor expression yield is often a barrier to the study and production of such proteins," he added.

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