Univercells adds DNA synthesis through SynHelix buy

Univercells has entered the synthetic biology space through the acquisition of French DNA synthesis firm SynHelix.

The deal, financials of which have not been disclosed, sees Belgian bioprocess firm Univercells add technology aimed at simplifying biotherapeutic development through a scalable and automated DNA synthesis platform.

SynHelix’s technology is based on the GMP production of long DNA fragments in large quantities and has been touted as an alternative to DNA amplification on bacteria in the synthetic biology, gene therapy, and diagnostics fields.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

The firm claims traditional DNA amplification requires large and expensive industrial facilities, as well as complex processing and quality control steps for very low yields and its platform can feed the need for rapid, cheap, multiplex modification of genomes through the production of higher purity and 10,000-fold larger yield DNA constructs.

Alain Huriez, chairman and managing partner of AdBio partners, which invested in SynHelix in December 2019, said: “The confirmation of the potential of the SynHelix technology was soon beyond our expectations and it was time to offer the company the fastest and most agile industrial development opportunity, as well as the possibility for its founders to continue innovating in a supportive environment.

Univercells met all the criteria of an ideal industrial partner and we are thrilled to have contributed to this transaction, fulfilling our role as a company builder.”

SynHelix and its technology will be incorporated within Univercells’ affiliate Quantoom, complementing an RNA production system currently under development.

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