Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Codex DNA team has been working hard to ensure that our customers have access to the tools they need to help in the fight against this public health scourge. We currently offer ten SARS-CoV-2 synthetic genomes, each constructed to assist with critical experimental needs. These ready-made genomes can be delivered to customers in academia, biotech, and pharma in just two to three days, compared to the months it takes with other gene synthesis companies.
Synthetic replicon constructs allow researchers to safely study the pandemic-causing virus and develop therapies and diagnostics without the highly regulated biosecurity facilities required for studying a dangerous pathogen. Codex DNA’s offering of full-length genomes, genome derivatives, and replicons with reporters can be used to generate recombinant viruses and pseudotyped virus particles. These reverse genetics systems enable the study of viral pathogenesis and the development of assays to test candidate therapeutics and vaccines’ efficacy — and they allow scientists to focus on the strain most relevant to their experimental needs.
These genomes were all constructed using the BioXp™ 3250 system, the world’s first and only fully automated synthetic biology platform. That’s especially significant due to the genome size of the virus: 30 kb. (If you’ve ever tried building large DNA fragments before, you know that most techniques can’t go beyond 15 kb because of instability during propagation in bacteria.) But with our robust BioXp™ technology and unique NGS verification process, we were able to deliver this globally needed resource.
We successfully created the first full-length SARS-CoV-2 synthetic genome de novo in April 2020. Since then, our full-length SARS-CoV-2 synthetic genomes have been widely adopted to develop various preventive and treatment measures. Typical applications include therapeutic discovery and validation, as well as virology research and high-throughput screening assays that model the COVID-19 infections.
When we announced the newest synthetic SARS-CoV-2 genomes, our CEO Todd Nelson stated: “Codex DNA is built on technology originally developed for pandemic preparedness applications, and our entire team has been fully committed to helping researchers battle the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of our progress and believe that these new synthetic genomes will be key tools in the continued development of diagnostics, therapies, and vaccines.”
All synthetic genomes produced by Codex DNA are manufactured in the United States. SARS-CoV-2 genomes are available to researchers who pass a rigorous biosecurity inspection process to ensure their responsible use.