DNA Script Presents Data at AGBT Confirming Functional Performance of the Company’s Enzymatic Synthesis (EDS) Technology
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and PARIS | March 1, 2021
  • Collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory demonstrates that primers synthesized using enzymatic DNA synthesis (EDS) technology for the ARTIC hCoV-19 amplicon sequencing protocol, with both RNA controls and clinical samples, performed comparably to primers obtained from commercial suppliers
  • Company highlights upcoming commercial offering — the SYNTAX™ EDS System — and announces an oligo grant program for enterprising researchers

DNA Script, a leading pioneer in enabling DNA on demand, shared data at this year’s Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting that demonstrate the comparable performance of the company’s enzymatically synthesized oligos to traditional chemically synthesized DNA in their quest to reliably support genomics and life science applications. The research, in collaboration with the Genomic Technologies Group of The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and scientists from Mexico’s Zacatecas State Health Services and the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, verified that primers developed for the detection and characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, synthesized using DNA Script’s EDS technology, performed comparably to primers obtained from commercial suppliers, with both RNA controls and clinical samples. A poster of the results is available for viewing on the 2021 AGBT General Meeting website, and authors will be available for discussion during the virtual poster sessions today from 3:45-5:45 p.m. EST and tomorrow from 3:30-5:30 p.m. EST. 

“We are excited to share data that validates the maturity of our EDS technology, demonstrating that DNA Script’s enzymatically synthesized oligos are functionally equivalent with current commercial offerings in their ability to support key genomics and life sciences applications,” said Thomas Ybert, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of DNA Script. “It is all the more exciting and important for us that such functional equivalency is established on the basis of external evaluation partners’ data in addition to our internal efforts.”

The  SYNTAX™ System, the company’s on-demand benchtop DNA printer employing the EDS technology, is currently in use at several locations and will soon be available more widely as part of an evaluation program and an early product launch. “We are confident that SYNTAX offers distinct advantages over current phosphoramidite chemistry synthesis workflows,” continued Ybert, “enabling decentralized oligo synthesis to support rapid iteration when developing molecular assays and providing full autonomy over research timelines, secure control over sequence information, and independence from third-party vendors and logistics.” 

Study Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated one of the most concentrated scientific efforts ever focused on a single pathogen. Worldwide, academic, government and commercial institutions pivoted from their usual endeavors to study the epidemiology, genomics, biochemistry and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to develop diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines. One unforeseen consequence of this effort was a global bottleneck in the supply of synthetic DNA, which currently relies on highly centralized phosphoramidite-based production and third-party logistics.

To demonstrate that the EDS technology is mature enough to support genomics and life science applications, the researchers synthesized DNA oligos for LAMP, NGS and FISH assays for the detection and characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and concluded: 

  • Primers for the ARTIC hCoV-19 amplicon sequencing protocol synthesized using EDS technology performed comparably to primers obtained from commercial suppliers, with both RNA controls and clinical samples.
  • Minor differences in the coverage of individual amplicons when using EDS primers vs. those synthesized by conventional phosphoramidite chemistry have no impact on variant calling when sample quality is sufficient. 
  • EDS technology enables decentralized oligo synthesis to support rapid iteration when developing molecular assays.
  • This study demonstrates that the EDS technology is mature enough to support genomics and life science applications.

Oligo Grant Program

Also at AGBT, DNA Script announced that it will launch an oligo grant program to award custom oligos to winning proposal submissions. The company opened the application period today and will accept submissions through April 1, 2021.