Synthetic Biology pioneers Codexis a leading synthetic biology company that develops and supplies differentiated enzyme products for high value markets, are collaborating with leading life science investor Casdin Capital to launch the SynBio Innovation Accelerator. The goal of the accelerator is to fund and nurture early-stage companies with disruptive technology platforms or unique product development capabilities in the far reaching and transformative field of synthetic and industrial biotechnology. Casdin Capital envisions in the next several years investing upwards of $50 million into companies tied to the industry and the SynBio Innovation Accelerator.
John Nicols, President and CEO of Codexis ( @CodexisInc ) said, “We are at a tipping point for Synthetic Biology, as the Genomic Revolution transformed our ability to read and translate the blueprint of life, and in the process enabled a second and equally powerful SynBio revolution. Today we have a remarkable ability to not just read DNA but write and engineer transformative biologic products. Codexis’ 20-year history in the space has shown us that it takes more than just capital to deliver differentiated products to the market. Leveraging the company’s proven protein engineering technology and business-operational capabilities, with Casdin Capital’s financial resources, network and investment process, we will together add fuel to a now lit fire.”
Eli Casdin, Managing Partner of Casdin Capital ( @cascapital ) stated, “This is not the first collaboration of this type we have entered into, having created a similar initiative in the bio-production space with BioLife Solutions. The accelerator model has successfully stimulated innovation there and we are confident that it will have an even bigger impact in the synthetic biology space and accelerate the growth of this emerging technology field.”
The first investment by the SynBio Innovation Accelerator is in a computational protein design company, Arzeda, where Codexis and Casdin are jointly making a $1.75 million investment. In addition to that capital investment, Codexis and Arzeda expect to collaborate on areas of synergy and mutual advantage. The initial focus will be on continuing the work of both companies in expanding the scope and benefit of machine learning and artificial intelligence in developing new, impactful enzymes as functional products or tools. Arzeda ( @ArzedaCo ) is an emerging player in the field of protein engineering, with a core focus on computational approaches to designing novel enzyme functionality. The Company will leverage Codexis’ existing proprietary informatics tools and its highly efficient screening and optimization workflows.