Asimov launches LV Edge Packaging System to optimize lentivirus production
New off-the-shelf system reduces the cost and risk of lentiviral (LV) production for cell and gene therapy developers.
Single-plasmid transfection minimizes GMP plasmid costs and supply chain risk.
System achieves high titers of >1E8 TU/mL across multiple therapeutic transgenes.
BOSTON, MA – January 29, 2024
Asimov, the synthetic biology company advancing the design and manufacture of therapeutics, today announced the launch of their LV Edge Packaging System, which improves the cost efficiency and reduces the supply chain risk of lentiviral production. The ready-to-transfer system minimizes GMP plasmid cost, process complexity, and supply chain risk by stably integrating viral genes into the host cell. This enables lentiviral production from a single-plasmid transfection, in contrast to the standard four-plasmid process.
In lentiviral manufacturing, GMP plasmids account for a substantial proportion of raw material costs. Procurement of these plasmids also introduces additional supply chain risk and process complexity, which can impact both timelines and product variability. By removing the need to transiently transfect three out of the four GMP plasmids, the LV Edge Packaging System reduces manufacturing cost and supply chain risk without compromising speed to market.
The LV Edge Packaging System achieves high harvest titers of over 1E8 TU/mL across multiple chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) transgenes and enables tuneable transgene expression in the transduced cell. The system consists of: (1) A clonal, suspension-adapted packaging cell line with stably-integrated lentiviral genes under inducible control, (2) Model-guided DNA design to optimize transgene expression – powered by Kernel, Asimov's computer-aided design (CAD) software, and (3) Robust, ready-to-transfer processes and protocols across multiple scales.
"We’re excited to announce the launch of LV Edge, a significant leap toward solving the challenges of lentiviral manufacturing," said Alec Nielsen, co-founder and CEO of Asimov. “By marrying mammalian synthetic biology, cutting-edge predictive models, and flexible computer-aided design software, the LV Edge Packaging System is the first of multiple planned offerings to enable cell and gene therapy developers. Later this year, we will expand the LV Edge offering with a fully-stable lentiviral producer cell line development service, unlocking even greater scalability and cost reduction. This system builds on the success of our CHO Edge system for advanced antibody production, deepening our commitment to democratize the state of the art in genetic design capabilities to our partners.”
Asimov’s mission is to advance humanity’s ability to design living systems, enabling biotechnologies with outsized societal benefit. The company is developing a synthetic biology platform – from cells to software – to design and manufacture next-generation therapeutics, including biologics, cell/gene therapies, and RNA through a combination of products, services, and collaborations.
Founded by bioengineers from MIT and Boston University and headquartered in Boston, the company has raised over $200 million from top institutional investors including Andreessen Horowitz, CPP Investments, Horizons Ventures, and Fidelity Management & Research Company. For more information, visit www.asimov.com.
Co-founder & CEO
Virtual Private Network (VPN): Users connect to the cluster, provide some credentials and are then able to access internal tools.
Single Sign-On: A tool like Kerberos allows you to use the same account across various components.
Home-grown user accounts: You implement an authentication system and users have a separate username/password for your computing infrastructure.
Asimov, the synthetic biology company building a full-stack platform to program living cells, announced today it has been awarded a contract as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Automating Scientific Knowledge Extraction (ASKE) opportunity.
Through ASKE, Asimov will work to develop a physics-based artificial intelligence (AI) design engine for biology. The goal of the initiative is to improve the reliability of programming complex cellular behaviors.
“To achieve truly predictive engineering of biology, we require dramatic advances in computer-aided design. Machine learning will be critical to bridge genome-scale experimental data with computational models that accurately capture the underlying biophysics. As genetically engineered systems grow in complexity, they become difficult for humans to design and understand. For simple genetic systems with only a couple of genes, synthetic biologists typically use high-throughput screening and basic optimization algorithms. But to engineer more complex applications in health, materials, and manufacturing, we need radically new algorithms to intelligently design the DNA and simulate cell behavior.”
Alec Nielsen, Phd, Asimov CEO
Asimov’s founders previously built a hybrid genetic engineering and computer-aided design platform called Cello to program logic circuit behaviors in cells. The ASKE opportunity will seek to support an ambitious expansion in the types of biological behaviors that can be engineered. Asimov’s approach will leverage “multi-omics” cellular measurements, structured biological metadata, and novel AI architectures that combine deep learning, reinforcement learning, and mechanistic modeling. Over the past year, the company has ramped up hiring in experimental synthetic biology, machine learning, and data science to accelerate development of their genetic design platform.
DARPA recently announced a multi-year investment of $2B into innovative artificial intelligence research called the AI Next campaign. A part of this wide-ranging AI strategy is DARPA’s Artificial Intelligence Exploration program, which was developed to help expeditiously move pioneering AI research from idea to exploration in fewer than 90 days. DARPA’s ASKE opportunity is part of this program and is focused on developing AI technologies that can reason over rich models of complex systems.
“Over the past 50 years, DARPA has been a world leader in spurring innovation across the field of AI, including statistical-learning and rule-based approaches. We are proud to work with DARPA to advance the state-of-the-art in AI-assisted genetic engineering.”