Twist Bioscience Corporation (TWST) and Eleven create a replicon for the development of antiviral tools

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Twist Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its high-quality synthetic DNA offering using its silicon platform, and Eleven Therapeutics, a company leading the AI ​​revolution in nucleic acid, announced today that they have created a replicon tool that could be used to study viral genome replication and antiviral drug screening as well as vaccine and therapeutic development.

Replicons are synthetic viral RNA molecules that mimic viruses in their ability to replicate, but have been engineered to eliminate the part of the genome that causes damage (infectivity). Replicon systems have been successfully used to mimic RNA viruses, including Zika, Dengue, and SARS-CoV-1, to facilitate the safe and rapid development of new therapies.

Through a publication on bioRxiv, the teams demonstrated the development of a safe and efficient SARS-CoV-2 replicon generation engine, enhanced by massively parallel DNA synthesis. In designing the replicon, the teams retained 97% of the viral genome but completely eliminated all infectivity properties of SARS-CoV-2. Researchers can use this replicon to study viral activity without the need for patient samples or the risk of handling live viruses.

“We demonstrated that a viral replicon for SARS-CoV-2 could be an efficient and safe way to study the virus using the beta variant (B.1.351), but given the inherent flexibility of the system of replicon, we can easily produce other variants, such as Delta (B.1.617.2) or Omicron (B.1.1.529),” said Yaniv Erlich, CEO of Eleven Therapeutics. “We developed this in just three weeks, showing that the active ingredient in the commercial antiviral drug molnupiravir and our proprietary RNAi treatment, which was already known to effectively treat other variants of SARS-CoV-2 in live virus samples , inhibited the replicon effectively, confirming the applicability of the therapeutic development for the replicon.

“Replicons offer a safe alternative for studying viruses and represent another potentially important tool in the fight against SARS-CoV-2,” commented Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “Using the framework we have developed, researchers can quickly establish new assays to develop specific therapies and study variant characteristics. By using automated surveillance systems for emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, synthetic biology can complement these efforts by enabling rapid prototyping of therapies or vaccine interventions for future variants of concern.

Twist Bioscience has formed an Institutional Biosafety Committee to review and monitor research and development and commercial activities involving pathogens, biotoxins or other biohazardous materials.

About Eleven Therapeutics

Eleven Therapeutics is ushering in the next generation of RNAi therapies by combining artificial intelligence (AI), massively parallel functional testing, and combinatorial chemistry. His breakthrough invention includes a new modality, dubbed SCSI-RNA™ (single-chassis, small interfering RNA), a fully programmable molecule, rationally designed to meet the challenges of delivery, durability and efficacy of any disease and biological target of interest. Founded in 2020 by a group of world-renowned interdisciplinary scientists, Eleven Therapeutics brings novel RNAi therapies to patients in need by capitalizing on some of the world’s best talent pools through its three collaborative centers – in Cambridge, UK -United ; Boston, USA; and Tel Aviv, Israel. Eleven is currently focusing its development pipeline on siRNA treatments for a range of respiratory diseases. To learn more, visit

About Twist Bioscience Corporation

Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of making synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA onto a silicon chip. Twist leverages its unique technology to manufacture a wide range of synthetic DNA products, including synthetic genes, tools for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for discovery and drug development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologic drug discovery. Twist manufactures products for many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.

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Legal notice regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting management’s current beliefs and expectations made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks. , uncertainties and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the risks and uncertainties of the replicon tool’s ability to develop specific therapeutics and study variant characteristics. For a more detailed description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business generally, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors stated in Twist Bioscience’s Annual Report Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 23, 2021 and subsequent filings with the SEC. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Twist Biosciences

Angela Bitting

SVP, Corporate Affairs


[email protected]

Source: Twist Bioscience Corporation

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