New biological systems could lead to personalised precision medicine


Collaboration of design and development firm with software company will work on software for automated systems

Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is joining forces with UK-based software company Synthace to boost adoption of a powerful new platform for the engineering of biological systems.

This could lead to developments such as personalised precision medicine and the next generation of antibiotics.

The new platform, called Antha, has been developed by Synthace and is a programming language and operating system for engineering biology.

It allows more automated ways of working and opens the door to widespread adoption and implementation of engineering practices in the biotechnology industry. As well as medical breakthroughs, this could also unlock a whole host of novel applications in areas such as consumer products.

“Our goal is to help remove some of the manual and often painstaking work that scientists undertake in experimentation, using software and processes which can exponentially accelerate bioscience,” said Tim Fell, CEO of Synthace.

Our goal is to help remove some of the manual and often painstaking work that scientists undertake in experimentation.

The partnership between the two companies will create a “one-stop shop” for clients to ensure they get the most out of Antha.

Cambridge Consultants will provide consultancy services to help with effective implementation of Antha in labs, including process development, protocol development, automation integration and custom equipment development.

Synthace will provide the core platform as a service, maintaining Antha and managing the cloud-hosted infrastructure.

As part of the collaboration, Cambridge Consultants will use Antha to run its in-house synthetic biology lab.

“We’re excited to be using Antha in our own lab to plan and manage our wetware development and show the power of this approach,” said Richard Hammond, Head of Synthetic Biology at Cambridge Consultants.

The Antha software enables labs to define, link and execute biological experimental and analysis protocols.

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Using the programming language, each in-lab process can be linked to other processes to form decision-based and recursive workflows. These systems can then be executed using automated equipment.