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Proteona today announced that Twist Bioscience Corporation (Nasdaq: TWST) will join the international alliance led by Proteona to develop neutralizing antibody therapy against COVID-19 for vulnerable immunocompromised patients. Utilizing the highly parallel silicon-based DNA synthesis platform, Twist has the ability to manufacture millions of oligos of different lengths with industry leading accuracy. This core capability enables Twist Biopharma, a division of Twist Bioscience, to identify numerous neutralizing antibody sequences and use in house capability to generate and optimize IgG antibodies ready for analysis.
The international alliance was initiated by Proteona in response to the urgent need of patients most at risk facing the pandemic, such as those with blood cancers. Due to preexisting conditions, these patients have a higher risk of complications from infections. They may not respond well to vaccination once available because of their compromised immune system. The alliance aims to develop antibody therapies to provide a safe and targeted treatment for these vulnerable populations.
"Twist Bioscience is an instrumental addition to the alliance," said Andreas Schmidt, CEO of Proteona. "Their expertise in biologics development is the perfect complement to our group. With Twist onboard, we complete the cycle of antibody development from sample to the clinics."
Proteona, who is leading the alliance, continues to conduct screening for potential candidate antibodies. Using its single cell proteogenomics technology which enables the simultaneous screening of antibodies targeting multiple viral variants, Proteona is analyzing blood samples from recovered COVID-19 patients, and screening for B cells that produce neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 10x Genomics and NovogeneAIT are providing enabling technologies for single cell analysis and sequencing respectively. The clinical partners at the Heidelberg University Hospital, the German Cancer Research Center, and the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) at the University of Tübingen are assisting in sample collection and coordination, and provide first-hand clinical insight. Twist will synthesize and express the antibody sequences as functional antibodies, which can then be tested by collaborators in animal and cell studies for safety and efficacy.
"We are pleased to partner with biotechnology leaders in the field of COVID-19 research including Proteona, 10x Genomics, NovogeneAIT, as well as the exceptional clinical research centers," said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. "Finding viable antibody therapeutics to effectively treat COVID-19 will require massive cross-border collaborations like this alliance, amplifying each group’s technology to be more than the sum of the individual organizations."
"The pipeline resulting from this alliance has applications beyond infectious diseases," said Schmidt. "Antibody therapy, thanks to its flexibility, scalability and low toxicity, are already helping patients with immune disorders and blood cancers. The need for improved antibody discovery platforms continues to increase. The same workflow can quickly be adapted and applied to other applications."
Proteona Pte. Ltd. is a biomedical company located in Singapore, Germany, and the US that is pioneering the use of single cell proteogenomics to improve clinical outcomes in cancer. Using a combination of innovative single cell assays and AI-assisted bioinformatics, Proteona provides a comprehensive sample to answer service that enables users to phenotype cells using standard protein markers and gain a deeper understanding of cell activity based upon their gene expression profiles. Proteona is a spin-off from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR). Proteona is leading an international alliance to develop neutralizing antibodies against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. In addition, Proteona supports partners developing COVID-19 therapies and vaccines by providing single cell immune profiling services. https://proteona.com.
About Twist Biopharma
By leveraging our unique ability to manufacture DNA at scale, we can construct proprietary antibody libraries precisely designed to match sequences that occur in the human body. This library of libraries gives our partners an integral and unbiased resource for antibody therapeutic discovery and optimization. This precise and rational approach to library fabrication combined with sophisticated bioinformatics and software expertise expedites antibody discovery by decreasing risk, increasing speed, and lowering the failure rate for antibody therapeutic development.
About Twist Bioscience Corporation
Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by "writing" DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including diagnostics, therapeutics, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research. For more information visit www.twistbioscience.com and www.twistbiopharma.com.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risk of breach of Twist’s security measures, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Bioscience’s patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Bioscience’s proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business in general, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors set forth in Twist Bioscience’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated as of May 12, 2020. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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TWIST BIOSCIENCE CONTACTS:
Dr Andreas Schmidt