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Isogenica Secure Funding from UK’s Technology Strategy Board to Develop Gene Library Synthesis for Synthetic Biology

Today, Monday 30th June, 2014, Isogenica, Cambridge UK and Imperial College London secure funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the UK’s innovation agency, for a £347,000 project to optimise a gene library assembly technology for potential use in synthetic biology.

This support from the TSB follows the successful development by Isogenica of its Colibra™ technology for the commercial synthesis of ratio controlled gene libraries using a patent protected methodology discovered by Dr Anna Hine of Aston University which was also supported by TSB funding.

Isogenica will now work with Dr. Geoff Baldwin at Imperial College London to take advantage of their ‘BASIC’ DNA assembly technology. This will allow both parties to efficiently optimise the assembly of genes from smaller DNA fragments and generate combinatorial libraries of genetic mutations for application in the field of synthetic biology.

“Isogenica is currently commercialising the Colibra™ technology for ratio controlled protein and antibody libraries based on a partly automated process. We are now interested in further optimising the technology for high throughput, automated manufacture of whole gene libraries and we believe that this could represent a powerful and valuable tool for commercialisation in the synthetic biology arena” said Kevin Mathews, CEO of Isogenica.

Notes to Editors

About Isogenica

Isogenica specialises in the discovery and optimisation of therapeutic and diagnostic peptides, proteins and antibodies using both conventional technologies and proprietary capabilities. Founded in 2000, Isogenica has developed a unique capability in the field of protein engineering. Isogenica's CIS display technology is an in vitro display technology that allows the rapid generation of polypeptide and antibody libraries from which it is possible to select lead molecules with high affinity and specificity for most targets. Isogenica's Colibra™ technology allows the construction of high quality bespoke gene libraries with specific ratio-control at mutation sites.

Synthetic Biology at Imperial College

The Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation (CSynBI) at Imperial College was the first national synthetic biology centre in the UK established in 2011 with a grant from the EPSRC. Dr. Baldwin, a Reader in the Life Sciences Department has developed foundational tools for synthetic biology including DNA assembly and he also has research interests in directed evolution.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

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