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Codex DNA Showcases Potential of Groundbreaking SOLA Enzymatic DNA Synthesis Approach to Accelerate Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics

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·5 min read
In this article:
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  • Proprietary short oligo ligation assembly (SOLA) technology used to enzymatically synthesize DNA fragments for the construction of full-length H1 and N1 genes from influenza A virus

  • Initial performance results show potentially significant quality, time, and cost advantages compared to traditional chemical synthesis and alternative enzymatic DNA synthesis approaches

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Codex DNA, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNAY), a pioneer in automated benchtop synthetic biology systems, today announced that its R&D team has used the company’s proprietary short oligo ligation assembly (SOLA) enzymatic DNA synthesis (EDS) technology to successfully construct the hemagglutinin (H1) and neuraminidase (N1) genes from the influenza A virus genome. SOLA EDS is a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective approach designed to significantly reduce timelines for constructing synthetic DNA, RNA, and proteins compared to traditional chemical synthesis, paving the way for more efficient and effective development of mRNA-based vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and personalized medicines. SOLA EDS technology will be integrated into Codex DNA’s upcoming BioXp™ Oligo Printer and BioXp Digital-to-Biological Converter systems, providing customers with an end-to-end solution for their life science research and synthetic biology needs.

“We believe enzymatic DNA synthesis advances will ultimately propel the field of synthetic biology forward by enabling decentralized and automated DNA, mRNA, and protein writing solutions for multiple workflows, including the discovery and manufacturing of biologics and vaccines,” said Todd R. Nelson, PhD, CEO of Codex DNA. “By incorporating SOLA EDS into future benchtop instruments, we will allow our customers to print DNA, RNA, and proteins just like a desktop printer prints documents.”

The construction of the H1 and N1 genes, which are approximately 1,800 base pairs (bp) and 1,500bp in length respectively, is the latest important milestone related to development of the SOLA EDS technology. This project demonstrated Codex DNA’s ability to reliably and reproducibly print short DNA oligos — up to 100 bp in length — for assembly into high-fidelity longer genes. Unlike alternative EDS technologies that employ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), which incorporates one DNA letter at a time, the streamlined SOLA DNA process generates high-quality long synthetic DNA from a universal, pre-manufactured library of short DNA oligos. The short DNA oligos provide the component building blocks to efficiently assemble complex synthetic genes and mRNA templates using Codex DNA’s industry-standard Gibson Assembly® method on the automated BioXp instrumentation.

The unique approach of SOLA EDS addresses many of the challenges facing TdT-based enzymatic DNA synthesis methods related to cost, fidelity, producibility, flexibility, and scalability. Because SOLA combines purified and sequence-verified DNA blocks to synthesize oligos, it has the potential to be faster, more accurate, and higher-throughput than existing EDS technologies. In addition, these DNA building blocks can be manufactured in large quantities and used extensively before replenishment, reducing the cost of DNA synthesis exponentially. Once integrated into the BioXp instrumentation, these benefits should enable several downstream applications including vaccine development, therapeutics development, diagnostics, precision medicine, and DNA data storage.

“Using SOLA to complete successful construction of long and complex genes is a meaningful technological milestone that helps to validate the viability of our technology and the exceptional capabilities of our R&D organization,” said Dan Gibson, PhD, Chief Technology Officer of Codex DNA. “We believe that SOLA EDS is the only enzymatic solution being developed for the efficient synthesis of longer fragments of DNA, mRNA, and proteins. Our unique approach has the potential to revolutionize how synthetic biology is applied to biologics and vaccine production.”

In addition to efficiency benefits for our customers, SOLA EDS could also make a positive environmental impact. Traditional processes for manufacturing oligos involve the use of toxic chemicals and produce hazardous waste. The SOLA EDS technology drastically reduces the use of toxic chemicals.

Codex DNA plans to incorporate the core SOLA EDS technology into its automated family of BioXp systems starting in 2023, providing customers with a complete push-button benchtop experience. For more information on SOLA technology, please visit codexdna.com/sola-technology.

About Codex DNA
Codex DNA is empowering scientists with the ability to create novel, synthetic biology solutions for many of humanity’s greatest challenges. As inventors of the industry-standard Gibson Assembly® method and the first commercial automated benchtop DNA and mRNA synthesis system, Codex DNA is enabling rapid, accurate, and reproducible writing of DNA and mRNA for numerous downstream markets. The company’s award-winning BioXp™ system consolidates, automates, and optimizes the entire synthesis, cloning, and amplification workflow. As a result, it delivers virtually error-free synthesis of DNA/RNA at scale within days and hours instead of weeks or months. Scientists around the world are using the technology in their own laboratories to accelerate the design-build-test paradigm for novel, high-value products for precision medicine, biologics drug discovery, vaccine and therapeutic development, genome editing, and cell and gene therapy. Codex DNA is a public company based in San Diego. For more information, visit codexdna.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are based on Codex DNA’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to it on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Codex DNA’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to statements regarding Codex DNA’s ability to successfully incorporate the SOLA EDS system into the BioXp™ and the ability of the SOLA EDS system to significantly improve the research and development process for new therapeutics, diagnostics and personalized medicine. These and other risks are described more fully in Codex DNA’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and other documents that Codex DNA subsequently files with the SEC from time to time. Except to the extent required by law, Codex DNA undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

Richard D. Lepke
Director, Investor Relations