[Biospace – 12/23/21] San Francisco, Calif.-based Twist Bioscience announced it plans to expand its manufacturing and commercial capabilities by establishing a new facility outside of Portland, Oregon. The company expects this expansion to bring nearly 400 jobs to the Portland region once it becomes operational some time in 2022.
The new state-of-the-art facility, dubbed the “Factory of the Future,” will span 110,000 square feet and will be located in the city of Wilsonville, Oregon.
“The Portland area is an established technology hub relatively close in proximity to our headquarters with a growing number of biotechnology companies, providing access to talent and advanced manufacturing to increase the speed of production and deliver products to our customers faster,” Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, said in a statement.
Leproust added that the expansion will also include increasing the company’s “customer base and ramping production of our products at an exceptional rate.” The new “Factory of the Future” will allow Twist “to support the increasing needs of our customers as they scale globally and plan for aggressive growth into synthetic biology and biopharma market segments we cannot serve today.”
Twist is a synthetic biology and genomics organization focused on the development of a disruptive DNA synthesis platform. The company uses a proprietary technology in its platform that capitalizes on a novel manufacturing method of synthetic DNA by “writing” the DNA on a silicon chip. In November, Twist was ranked the 60th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte’s 2020 Fast 500™. This ranking is out of 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.
In October, the company showed that its synthetic DNA was capable of storing an entire episode of a Netflix series, providing an interesting insight into the variety of information that synthetic DNA could host now and in the future. Scientists working on this project encoded the episode from ones and zeros into a sequence of the four nucleic bases comprising the building blocks of DNA (adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine). The code was built base by base into synthetic DNA strands to store the episode “for thousands of years,” the company said.
Earlier this month, the company launched Clonal-Ready Gene Fragments which are used to generate constructs, which the company says should reduce “the time and cost of screening for perfect clones.” The “ready-to-use Gene Fragment” is compatible with cloning, gene and protein expression, pathway and enzyme engineering as well as enzyme optimization.
In November, Twist and Biotia announced the joint development of a research tool that performs next-generation sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 to characterize and monitor the spread of COVID-19. The research-only tool relies on Twist’s ability to develop virus virus-specific panels with DNA synthesis combined with Biotia’s data analysis software.
Data presented at the Infectious Disease Week 2020 Annual Meeting demonstrate the jointly developed assay was able to identify 124 genetic mutations that have not been previously described, including a total of 26 gene mutations in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. The solution was also validated on 120 clinical samples and confirmed that the Twist-Biotia tool is effective for detecting viral RNA in laboratory research. It was also able to offer researchers insight into genetic variants that allowed them to track transmission, identify risk factors and predict outcome and response to treatment.