In April, three leading synthetic biology companies announced the launch of the Synthetic Biology (SynBio) Coalition (www.synbioco.com) to promote investment and support for the American synthetic biology industry. Synthetic biology is a field of science that involves redesigning microorganisms for useful purposes. It is already being leveraged across many industries, including pharmaceuticals and medical treatments, food and agriculture, plastics, apparel, energy, consumer electronics, and personal and home care items, and is poised to have a significant impact on American economic growth over the coming years.
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Working in collaboration with the U.S. government, the SynBio Coalition aims to support the development and growth of the world’s advanced biomanufacturing industry in the U.S., contributing to technologies that will improve access to medicine, create more sustainable and productive farming practices, help transform industrial manufacturing, and unlock a next generation of products across numerous industries.
The SynBio Coalition is backed by three of America’s leading synthetic biology companies: Antheia, based in Menlo Park, California; Genomatica, based in San Diego, California; and Ginkgo Bioworks, based in Boston, Massachusetts.
“Over the last decade, synthetic biology’s advances have moved out of the lab and into the real economy, making the potential of this disruptive technology increasingly apparent,” said Christina Smolke, CEO and co-founder at Antheia. “As the technology continues to scale, it’s essential that industry and government work together to ensure that synbio’s advances translate into meaningful innovations that improve people’s lives.”
“America’s strengths in synbio innovation and growing crops can power a new era of industrial growth and prosperity, while making the products we use every day, better and more sustainable,” said Christophe Schilling, co-founder and CEO at Genomatica. “Synbio manufacturing of widely-used materials can bring back many industries that have moved overseas. This coalition is a great step in building broad support for the policies needed to drive this opportunity.”
“We see the potential for biology to transform all the industries that produce physical goods,” said Jason Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Gingko Bioworks. “The ongoing efforts of the U.S. government to invest in next generation technologies, including synthetic biology, are laying the groundwork for continued investment, governance, and prioritization of this transformative technology at a national scale.”
Creating a national synthetic biology infrastructure and manufacturing base will strengthen the U.S.’s position as a global leader in technology and innovation, help grow a robust and resilient domestic supply chain, support the development of a next-generation workforce, and empower next generation, sustainable manufacturing.
Global leadership: America is the current global leader in the development of synthetic biology. The coalition believes that continued investment in synthetic biology, research infrastructure and manufacturing capacity is critical to realizing the full potential of this industry and maintaining American global leadership.
American jobs: Synthetic biology holds tremendous promise for American workers. The coalition believes that continued investment in this emerging field of science will lead to the creation of more high-paying STEM and manufacturing jobs in both rural and urban areas across the U.S..
Supply chain security: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant supply chain challenges for US companies in critical industries. The coalition believes that a greater investment in an American synthetic biology manufacturing base will increase U.S. resilience and national security by decreasing our reliance on overseas products, including Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Key Starting Materials (KSMs), and widely used chemicals and materials.
Green economy: Building a greener economy is of critical importance to business leaders, public officials, and consumers. The coalition believes that synthetic biology builds cleaner solutions for a host of industries dedicated to lowering their emissions and having an improved environmental footprint.
The three steering committee members of SynBio Coalition are:
- Antheia is unlocking the medicinal power of nature. Its synthetic biology platform surpasses the limits of conventional drug discovery and manufacturing through a novel approach to whole-cell engineering — reconstructing complex molecules in yeast to bring to market next-generation plant-inspired medicines. Antheia’s team of scientists and technologists is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. For more information, visit www.antheia.bio.
- Genomatica is remaking everyday products and materials with more sustainable, high-performance ingredients, made from renewable sources like plants rather than fossil fuels. Genomatica’s first commercial products and partnerships with leading industrial firms and brands are already having high impact in plastics and cosmetics, with more coming in apparel, homecare, auto parts and more. Genomatica’s Innovation Center is in San Diego, California. For more information, visit www.genomatica.com.
- Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. For more information, visit www.ginkobioworks.com.
About the SynBio coalition: The Coalition aims to turn the U.S. into the home of the world’s most secure and technologically advanced biomanufacturing industry. Founded by three of the leading synthetic biology companies, the SynBio Coalition is a non-partisan group of academics, business leaders, and government representatives dedicated to advancing synthetic biology as a driver of technological innovation and economic growth.
Source: Synthetic Biology Manufacturing Coalition