DNA2.0 announces biopharmaceutical partnership with St. George's

DNA2.0, a Menlo Park, California-based bioengineering solutions provider, announced a partnership on Thursday with the Infection and Immunity Research Centre at St. George's at the University of London to develop plant-based pharmaceuticals.

By combining DNA2.0's Gene GPS gene optimization technology with significant progress made by a research group at St. George's on the use of tobacco plant to produce antibodies, the collaboration looks to commercially produce antibodies cheaply and effectively.

Julian Ma, a professor at St. George's, and his colleagues carried out human trials of a tobacco-produced monoclonal antibody to prevent HIV infection. Ma said that high protein expression is necessary to deliver therapeutic levels of protein in a cost effective manner.

"This is even more essential when working with a plant like tobacco, and we anticipate very positive results from the pairing of our lab's plant expression experience with DNA2.0's well-documented approach to increasing expression with GeneGPS," Ma said.

According to DNA2.0, the company's Gene GPS technology was proven to increase recombinant protein production by orders of magnitude in multiple biological systems.

"DNA2.0 is very excited to partner with professor Ma and his research group because we believe his approach to developing antibodies in plant systems will have a dramatic impact on the affordability and availability of life-saving biopharmaceuticals," Jeremy Minshull, the cofounder and CEO of DNA2.0, said. "DNA2.0's GeneGPS technology has been proven to increase protein expression up to 100-fold in multiple expression systems, and we are confident that our data-centric approach to expression optimization will be successful in tobacco."