Evonetix, a synthetic biology company, which is engaged in developing a desktop platform for rapid gene synthesis, has entered into a collaboration to develop a third-generation DNA synthesis platform with Analog Devices, an analog technology company.
The firms will collaborate on advancing and scaling up Evonetix’s microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based silicon chips commercially and speed up the development of its first product, which is a DNA desktop writer.
Evonetix said that its silicon chip controls the synthesis of DNA at many thousands of independently controlled reaction sites or ‘pixels’ on the chip surface. The two firms started working together in January last year.
They agreed to extend the partnership as Evonetix continues to work with Analog Garage, the corporate innovation lab of Analog Devices, to jointly develop an integrated solution, which includes the MEMS platform, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) to miniaturize the control electronics, and flow cell.
Dr Matthew Hayes – Chief Technology Officer at Evonetix said: “Collaborating with Analog Devices is a significant step forward in our mission to develop a highly parallel desktop platform to accurately synthesise DNA at scale. The support and expertise of the Analog Garage R&D team has been invaluable in helping us design a complex control ASIC and we now look forward to expanding our collaboration to achieve the commercial scale-up of our platform.”
The role of Analog Devices will be in helping with the commercial scale-up of the technology, and in manufacturing devices for the desktop DNA writers.
According to Evonetix, the opportunities available to synthetic biology are presently being held back by the ability to create de novo high-fidelity DNA at scale. The DNA synthesis technology of Evonetix, which will be sold to laboratories as a ‘plug and play’ desktop instrument, is said to synthesize DNA at unprecedented accuracy, scale, and speed, thereby speeding up the ability of scientists to use biology on a scale, which is presently not possible.
Pat O’Doherty – Analog Devices Senior Vice President of Digital Healthcare said: “Evonetix is a pioneer in reimagining biology and developing a radically different approach to synthesising long-chain DNA at unprecedented accuracy and scale.
“This collaboration provides Analog Devices with an opportunity to enter the growing synthetic biology market. Our work together is aimed at increasing the speed and reducing the cost of gene assembly to provide novel strategies that can be used to produce affordable medications and treat a wide range of diseases globally.”
In March 2020, Evonetix secured $30 million in a Series B funding round for speeding up the development of its gene synthesis platform and also the introduction of its desktop DNA platform.