Tierra Biosciences is Moving Biological Manufacturing to The Mainstream

Written by Allison S on March 14, 2019

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With the continual demand for new therapeutics, the team at Tierra Biosciences (formerly Synvitrobio) is on a mission to derive natural products such as antibiotics from microbes. In a recent webinar, we spoke with Tierra CEO Zachary Sun to find out what makes the company unique.

In the webinar, Sun explains the importance of natural product discovery and how we have explored only a small fraction of the biochemical availability for creating natural products on this planet.

Scientists at Tierra have engineered cell-free systems to create natural products, and they’re doing it faster. Cell-free transcription-translation reactions are the bread and butter of their work. The cells are grown in culture and lysed to remove the cellular wall. This limits the functionality of the cell since it can no longer replicate itself but gives easy access to DNA machinery for protein synthesis. Utilizing DNA from a cell can take up to 3 days, but at Tierra, this process is streamlined using cell-free systems and completed in as little as 4 hours with the use of an Echo Liquid Handler.

That achievement is based on the great technologies found at Tierra Biosciences. Together, these have contributed to industrial-scale production as they can now rapidly test and screen for new molecules. Adopting the Echo Liquid Handler into their laboratory has made this process much more dependable.

Our technology is repeatable, reliable, and scalable with the Echo system,” Sun said in the webinar. “I love that the Echo is consistent so that you don’t have to repeat experiments. The cost of repeating is high and takes time.

The webinar goes into more technical detail about the synthetic biology workflows used in cell-free systems. It also addresses some of the proprietary work that Tierra is doing to make an impact in this space. You can learn about how microorganisms are being used to manufacture biochemical products at a much faster rate. We hope you have a chance to watch!

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