Company will receive up to $5 Million in grant funds from DARPA as part of the agency’s Nucleic Acids On-Demand World-Wide Program to plan for and prevent the next viral pandemic.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and PARIS — DNA Script today announced a partnership with Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA) to develop a prototype for rapid mobile manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Nucleic Acids On-Demand World-Wide (NOW) Program. The partnership will employ DNA Script’s novel enzymatic synthesis platform to quickly generate high-fidelity nucleic acids without the use of hazardous chemical solvents to power Moderna’s existing manufacturing technology for the rapid production of messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines. As part of the agreement, DNA Script will receive up to $5 million in grant funding from DARPA.
DARPA’s NOW initiative aims to develop a mobile, just-in-time manufacturing platform that quickly diagnoses pathogen threats and provides medical countermeasures to deliver pandemic prevention treatments. The resulting Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP-) quality nucleic acid (including mRNA) vaccines and therapeutics are intended to deliver near-instantaneous protections to both military personnel and local populations. The design envisions a manufacturing unit capable of producing hundreds of doses of medicines in a matter of days in a 6-foot x 6-foot x 6-foot (1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m) container, deployable to remote locations around the world.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Moderna and DARPA on this important initiative to create an innovative biotechnological approach to rapidly detect, characterize and mitigate threats from newly emerging or engineered pathogens,” said Thomas Ybert, Chief Executive Officer of DNA Script. “We believe that our fast, efficient and intuitive SYNTAX™️ nucleic acid printer, underpinned by our proprietary Enzymatic DNA Synthesis technology, has the potential to help prevent future pandemics. We’re proud to have been selected by both partners receiving awards under this DARPA NOW initiative.”