Codexis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDXS), a major biotechnology company that builds and supplies differentiated enzyme items for high-value markets, has officially launched the SynBio Innovation Accelerator in partnership with relevant life science investor Casdin Capital. The accelerator’s aim is to finance and foster early-stage companies in the far-reaching and revelatory field of synthetic and industrial biotechnology with disruptive technology platforms or unique product development capabilities. Casdin Capital plans to invest upwards of $50 million in companies linked to the industry and the SynBio Innovation Accelerator over the next several years.
John Nicols, President, and CEO of Codexis said that as the Genomic Revolution transformed our ability to read and translate the blueprint of life, and in the process enabled a second and equally powerful SynBio revolution, we are at a tipping point for Synthetic Biology. The company currently has a phenomenal ability to write and engineer transformative biological products, not just to read DNA. ace has shown us that delivering distinct products to the market takes more than just capital.
Eli Casdin, Casdin Capital’s Managing Partner, said that this is not the first collaborative effort of this kind we have entered into, having built a similar initiative with BioLife Solutions in the bio-production space. Technology there has been successfully triggered by the accelerator model and we are convinced that it will have an even larger effect in the space of synthetic biology and stimulate the growth of this evolving field of technology.
The SynBio Innovation Accelerator’s first investment is in a company for computational protein design, Arzeda, where Codexis and Casdin are making a $1.75 million investment together. In addition to this investment in capital, Codexis and Arzeda expect to work together on synergy and mutual benefit areas. The initial focus will be on continuing the work of both companies to broaden the scope and advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence as functional products or tools in the development of new, impactful enzymes. Arzeda is an emerging protein engineering player, with a core focus on computational approaches to the design of novel functionality of enzymes. The Company will leverage the existing proprietary informatics tools of Codexis and its highly effective workflows for screening and optimization.