Issue Date: June 12, 2017
Synthetic Genomics makes anticancer DNA
Synthetic Genomics, the biotech firm founded by J. Craig Venter, has opened what it calls the first current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facility for making synthetic DNA. The company is working with Advaxis on an investigational cancer immunotherapy called ADXS-NEO that will enter a Phase I clinical trial this year. The patient-customized therapy is based on tumor-specific mutations that can trigger an immune response from the patient’s T cells. Advaxis uses Synthetic Genomics’ automated genomic workstation to produce DNA based on the mutations. It inserts the DNA sequence into bacteria to produce the protein that the mutation expresses. The proteins are then taken up by a patient’s antigen-presenting cells to activate a tumor-specific T-cell response.
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