San Diego Business Journal San Diego-based Codex DNA (Nasdaq: DNAY), a pioneer in automated benchtop synthetic biology, has announced the release of a new full-length synthetic genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the highly mutated and contagious Omicron variant.
 
With the release, researchers around the world will be able to utilize the synthetic genome to produce virus to test strain-specific diagnostics, monoclonal antibody treatments, small-molecule therapies and new vaccines against the highly transmissible variant.


The new genome was built with Codex DNA’s BioXp 3250 system, a fully automated synthetic biology benchtop workstation for rapid, accurate and reproducible writing of DNA and mRNA.

 
Omicron, labeled a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, is spreading more rapidly than any other previous variant of SARS-CoV-2.


Prestigious Pedigree


Codex DNA, which IPO’d in June 2021 at $16 a share, was founded by Daniel G. Gibson and J. Craig Venter in 2011. Venter is a pioneering biotechnologist who led the first draft sequence of the human genome — and assembled the first team to successfully transfect a cell with a synthetic chromosome.


In November 2021, Codex DNA acquired Eton Biosciences for $13 million,
 further bolstering its commercial reach and growth strategy within the synthetic biology market.
 
Since its IPO, DNAY shares have traded as high as $25 but are currently trading in the $9-10 range.


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Todd R. Nelson, Ph.D. CEO Codex DNA

“The Codex DNA team applauds the excellent work done by scientists in South Africa to identify and quickly characterize the latest SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, and we aim to honor their efforts by releasing this new synthetic genome to expand research access to labs around the world,” said Todd R. Nelson, PhD, CEO of Codex DNA.

 
“This synthetic version of Omicron reflects our continued commitment to provide helpful tools and resources to scientists fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nelson added.


Support in the Search for Solutions


With the Omicron variant, Codex DNA offers a full catalogue of 14 SARS-CoV-2 synthetic genomes as well as custom-made SARS-CoV-2 genomes that are used to support researchers in their search for solutions to fight specific variants.

 
In addition, Codex DNA offers custom DNA synthesis services to address the global pandemic.

 
For customers interested in alternative variants to SARS-CoV-2, Codex DNA provides a wide range of synthetic controls that enable scientists to confidently verify and validate assays without the need for clinical virus samples.


All synthetic genomes produced by Codex DNA are manufactured in the U.S. and are available to researchers who pass a rigorous biosecurity screening process to ensure their responsible use.

 
Empowering Scientists


Codex DNA is empowering scientists with the ability to create novel, synthetic biology-enabled 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 labs 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
Founded: 2011
CEO: Todd R. Nelson
Ticker: DNAY
Revenue: $2.8 million (Q3 ‘21)
Employees: 140
Website: 
www.codexdna.com
Notable: The company’s BioXp System is the world’s only fully automated synthetic biology benchtop instrument.