R&D-as-a-service model breathes new life into synthetic biology revolution, says GlobalData

Synthetic biology companies are spreading their wings across industries by embracing transformative business models. One such model is R&D-as-a-service (RDaaS), which is offering significant growth to synthetic biology companies to fabricate outcome-oriented products in multiple industries, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Sanchari Chatterjee, Disruptive Tech Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Instead of targeting a specific industry, RDaaS is enabling synthetic biology companies to follow a horizontal business model to serve a host of industries, including healthcare, consumer, and chemicals. These companies design a novel biological system, supported by machine learning algorithms, which unlocks an immense potential to pace up the time-to-market of the newly developed products.”

GlobalData’s FutureTech Series report, ‘Engineering Microorganisms into Powerful Micromachines: Can Synthetic Biology Foster Bio Revolution?’, highlights how various synthetic biology companies are offering RDaaS to compete with industry-specific solutions.

US-based Ginkgo Bioworks combines genome editing and fermentation capabilities to advance RDaaS model. In the food and beverage industry, the company is helping US startup Motif FoodWorks (spun out of Ginkgo Bioworks in 2019) to discover and develop new plant-based proteins. In healthcare, Ginkgo has partnered with Roche to develop medicines to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

UK-based Synthace’s biotech platform can be used in R&D applications in many verticals including healthcare for biopharmaceuticals and gene therapies, consumer for bioprocessing of ingredients, and chemicals for testing structural properties of newly developed biopolymers. Synthace joined forces with French pharma company Ipsen to produce novel biotherapeutics while also leveraging its platform to synthesize proteins with US company Formulatrix.

Amyris uses fermentation to create bio-ingredients for the consumer industry catering to both food and cosmetics. It partnered with major F&F house Ingredion to synthesize fermented Reb M sweeteners. The company also manufactures in-house ingredients from genetically engineered yeast, which is used to formulate its featured brands including Biossance, Pipette, and Purecane.

Ms. Chatterjee concludes: “In future, as synthetic biology shifts from a traditional life sciences approach into a more business-oriented mainstream technology, RDaaS could be used to explore sustainable and previously inaccessible ingredients for multiple consumer-centric businesses and turn them into ready-for-market realities.”

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