Synpromics Ltd, the synthetic promoter company, announces the award by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, of an over £240,000 grant under the TSB’s Synthetic Biology initiative to a consortium led by Synpromics and also including Genabler Ltd and the University of Edinburgh’s SynthSys Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology.
Assessing Activity of Promoters in Mammalian Cells

The TSB grant will fund a collaborative project to develop synthetic promoters that constitutively drive high levels of gene expression in mammalian cell lines. These promoters will have applications in life science research tools as well as in biologics manufacturing, increasing production yields for biopharmaceuticals and reagents. Over half of currently marketed biopharmaceuticals are manufactured in mammalian cell lines. The project is planned to commence in May 2013 and complete during the second half of 2014.

Dr Michael L Roberts, Synpromics CEO, commented

We are excited at the opportunity to lead this important project and we applaud the support being provided by the Technology Strategy Board to the rapidly emerging field of synthetic biology. The project will bring together Synpromics’s innovations in synthetic promoter design, Genabler’s technology platform for controlled and efficient DNA assembly, and SynthSys’s leading expertise in robotics and systems biology. The combination of these technologies is expected not only to deliver synthetic promoters that can drive higher expression levels for biologics manufacturing and drug discovery applications, but also to generate a novel and more efficient means of synthetic promoter construction with broader uses across the biotech spectrum.

For more information on the UK Government's £5.3 million investment in the Synthetic Biology sector, from which the Synpromics grant has been awarded, please see the web site of the cabinet office Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.