Twist’s ‘Factory of the Future’ to ship gene products from January

Twist Bioscience will begin shipping synthetic genes from its Portland, Oregon production plant in January, after investing around $87 million over the past two years.

For the full fiscal year 2022, DNA synthesis firm Twist Bioscience reported total revenues of $203.6 million and orders of $226 million, respectively up 54% and 42% year-on-year.

This included around $80 million in gene production for Twist’s partner SynBio, a collaboration inked in 2017 that sees Twist manufacture synthetic DNA up to 3.2 kilobases in length for Synbio Technologies. The 52% increase year-on-year represented the shipping of 558,000 genes, compared with approximately 372,000 in fiscal 2021.

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FY 2023 forecasts show increased sales of up to $269 million, driven in part by the firm’s new facility in Portland, Oregon, which is to ship products from early next year.

“To support our continued growth, we are ramping our Factory of the Future in Portland, Oregon with a 24/7 manufacturing team currently training and producing test products today. Of note, we have about 40 employees from South San Francisco that have moved to Portland, bringing with them experience in our manufacturing processes and intricate knowledge of the Swiss culture. These employees are now training our new employees,” CEO Emily Leproust told stakeholders.

“With 177 employees in Portland as of today, we remain on track to begin shipping products out of Portland in January 2023.”

Across fiscal year 2021 and fiscal 2022, capital expenditure for the Portland facility totaled around $87 million, she said on the call, “which includes $46 million for improvements, $34 million for lab equipment and $7 million for capitalized software.”

Initially, Leproust said manufacturing in Portland will focus on “genes, gene fragments, oligo pools targeting a turnaround time of approximately 10 days to 12 days.”

She also said the firm expects Portland to introduce “fast genes, which we believe will offer significantly faster turnaround time, enabling us to tap into the DNA makers market with premium pricing,” in the fall of 2023.

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