DNA2.0 Transforms Protein Engineering

Menlo Park, CA
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Company Obtains Key Patent for ProteinGPS™, Enabling Bioengineers to Design Proteins Directly for Function

DNA2.0, the leading provider of bioengineering solutions, today announced that the company has obtained a patent for ProteinGPS™, the company’s radically different protein engineering system, which enables bioengineers to design proteins directly for function in the final application. With ProteinGPS, researchers can save years of time and millions of dollars by engineering for a particular function through the use of proprietary optimization algorithms, rather than the “shot in the dark” approach of high-throughput screens and related methods.

US Patent 8,005,620 covers methods using systematic search and exploitation of amino acid sequence-enzyme function relationships in protein engineering. This proprietary technology enables rapid and resource-efficient engineering of proteins for any measurable feature. The technology circumvents the need for surrogate screening—a common problem for protein engineering—and instead allows for engineering of protein properties directly in the final commercial assay. The method claimed in the patent can also be extended to include RNA engineering, pathway engineering and genome engineering. DNA2.0 is already employing the technology on a multitude of projects with several industrial partners

“This patent and its related applications for ProteinGPS provides DNA2.0 with a clear advantage in the field of protein engineering, which was previously dominated by various random high throughput searches for improved proteins,” said Jeremy Minshull, CEO of DNA2.0 and co-inventor of the patent. “This technology allows us to optimize a protein exactly for the property that is required rather than for a related function that is easier to screen. Instead of using billions of assays, we can use a few hundred assays to get a much improved and more precise novel protein. In project after project we’ve seen how incredibly successful our approach has been.”

Engineering of biological systems is critical for applications as diverse as laundry detergents, therapeutic antibodies and drought resistant crops. Traditionally, biological systems have been optimized by randomly mutating a target and screening large numbers of variants or by classic breeding approaches where reasonably good parents are combined to generate improved progeny. The ProteinGPS technology developed by DNA2.0 combines engineering algorithms that have been modified for biological systems with state of the art gene synthesis to efficiently identify, synthesize and characterize information-rich nodes in sequence-function space. The resulting data is used to build and validate models describing the relative importance of identified amino acid substitutions.

“Today‘s protein engineering patent joins DNA2.0‘s collection of broad patents for gene engineering, codon optimization and gene design software—key intellectual properties for transforming biotechnology from a discovery-based science to an engineering platform,” said Claes Gustafsson, COO of DNA2.0 “Our vision is to enable on-demand production of new, high-value materials, devices and capabilities directly within biological systems, and this issued patent represents an important milestone towards that goal.”


About DNA2.0

DNA2.0 is the leading bioengineering solutions provider. Founded in 2003, DNA2.0 provides an integrated pipeline of solutions for the research community, including gene design, optimization, synthesis and cloning, as well as platforms for protein and strain engineering. It is the fastest provider of synthetic genes—based in the US with a global customer base encompassing academia, government and the pharmaceutical, chemical, agricultural and biotechnology industries. DNA2.0 is by far the most published synthetic gene vendor, providing expert support to and collaboration with scientists. DNA2.0 explores novel applications for synthetic genes and is exploiting the synergy between highly efficient gene design and synthesis processes and new protein optimization technologies. DNA2.0’s tools and solutions are fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif. For more information, please visit www.DNA20.com