Molecular Assemblies Announces First Storage and Retrieval of Information with Enzymatic DNA Synthesis

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SAN DIEGO, August 23, 2018 — Molecular Assemblies, Inc., a private biotech company developing proprietary enzymatic DNA synthesis technology, today announced that it has successfully completed an end-to-end run to store and retrieve digital information in DNA. Storing digital information in DNA has the potential to revolutionize the data storage industry by converting large amounts of data into nanograms of stable, easily replicable material.

“To our knowledge, we are the first industry group to store and retrieve digital information in DNA using enzymatic synthesis, a technology that is both cost-effective, sustainable, and scalable,” said Michael J. Kamdar, President and CEO of Molecular Assemblies. “In this new age of big data, we are quickly producing more digital information than we can efficiently store. We believe our technology may revolutionize and empower DNA data storage, which is essentially a limitless vault in a near sizeless space.”

While academic groups have shown that storage and retrieval of data from DNA is possible, a huge bottleneck remains with the process of DNA synthesis. Traditional methods are far too time-consuming and expensive for DNA to be a routine data storage option. With its novel enzymatic DNA synthesis technology, Molecular Assemblies is on track to radically simplify and streamline this step, making DNA data storage and cost-effective access to the data increasingly viable.

In the experiment, scientists at Molecular Assemblies converted a text message into binary data using a novel algorithm, encoded the binary data in a sequence of DNA bases, and wrote the physical DNA molecule with Molecular Assemblies’ proprietary enzymatic synthesis process. The physical DNA was then “read” by DNA sequencing and converted back to the binary data and then to the text message.

“What the team at Molecular Assemblies has done is the first step in confirming the scientific validity and technological value of enzymatic DNA synthesis in DNA data storage,” said Bill Efcavitch, Ph.D., Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Molecular Assemblies.

Prior to enzymatic DNA synthesis, DNA synthesis has relied on a three-decade-old process of chemical synthesis, which is inherently limited to short DNA sequences that require extensive post-synthesis processing and uses hazardous chemicals for the synthesis. In contrast, Molecular Assemblies enzymatic DNA synthesis has higher purity, can scale to longer DNA sequences, uses aqueous, non-toxic reagents, and does not require purification and processing.

Dr. Efcavitch concluded, “To create an integrated system that stores and reads information in DNA can really only happen with enzymatic DNA synthesis.”

Michael J. Kamdar, President and CEO, will be sharing the data as part of a panel at SynBioBeta 2018: The Global Synthetic Biology Summit taking place October 1-3 in San Francisco.

About Molecular Assemblies
Molecular Assemblies, Inc. is a private biotech company developing an enzymatic DNA synthesis technology designed to power the next generation of DNA-based products. The company’s patented enzymatic method, based on making DNA the way nature makes DNA, produces long, high quality, sequence-specific DNA reliably, affordably, and sustainably. Molecular Assemblies’ technology will enable the reading and writing of DNA for industries including industrial synthetic biology and precision medicine, as well as emerging applications of DNA for data information storage, nanomachines, and bio-based electronics. Molecular Assemblies is headquartered in San Diego.

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