BioWorld Insight interviewed Synthorx CEO, Court Tuner, to discuss how synthetic biology is being used to take drug development to the next level.
To develop improved drugs, Synthorx is using the company’s unique expanded genetic alphabet technology which is built upon two synthetic nucleotides, termed X and Y.
The natural genetic code for all living things instructs how cells to make proteins out of 20 amino acids using specific orders of nucleotides – A, T, G, C – found in DNA. Synthorx’s X and Y can not only be incorporate into DNA but they are also replicated by the organism’s natural DNA replication machinery. Because of this, the technology can be done in both mammalian cell culture lysate and bacterial cells, which allows for production on an industrial scale.
Synthorx’s drug development efforts are currently focused on three therapeutic areas: autoimmune, pain and cancer. Synthrox plans to be in late clinical trials with at least one of projects by the end of 2018.
While working on its own internally developed drugs, Synthorx has also partnered with a larger pharmaceutical company and is looking to develop additional partnerships.
“Everyone saw the power when I started talking about it two years ago,” said Mr. Turner. “We are in a much different position now, and it makes partnering discussions much easier.”
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