Two European leaders in biopharma and integrative software are working together to advance drug discovery

BOSTON & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AutomationSynthace Ltd and Ipsen, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on innovation and specialty care, have partnered to accelerate development of novel biotherapeutics targeting multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, endocrinology, pain management, regenerative medicine and rare diseases. Ipsen has automated design and construction of therapeutic candidates using Synthace’s integrative software platform, Antha. The process aims to speed up biotherapeutic candidate entry into the screening pipeline and shorten development time for treatment of diseases via targeted secretion inhibition.

Ipsen has developed novel biotherapeutic molecules, called Targeted Secretion Inhibitors (TSIs). TSIs are a fusion of select parts of the botulinum neurotoxin with another protein domain to redirect its mode of action, resulting in a unique targeted therapeutic. The design and construction of TSIs is both labour intensive and manually complex, typically taking 30 days to develop between 24-48 constructs which then go on to therapeutic screening.

The Ipsen R&D team required a solution to increase throughput and efficiency of its TSI generation and screening pipeline, while utilizing its Type IIs construct assembly method. They looked to fellow innovators Synthace, whose flexible and integrative software Antha has built-in workflows for automating processes such as Type II construct assembly, bacterial transformation, plating, data generation and analysis.

Synthace’s Antha platform allowed the Ipsen team to plan, simulate, and test their assemblies in silico before executing the protocol. The partnership of Antha and Ipsen produced approximately 90 constructs five times faster than previous methods, substantially increasing the number of molecules entering the screening cascade. Antha was also able to increase efficiency by re-using core DNA building blocks for multiple construct assemblies, resulting in a 10-fold reduction in costs associated with DNA synthesis.

Dr. Karen Bunting, Director of Protein Science at Ipsen said, “The development of novel biotherapeutics like TSI is key to treating debilitating illnesses across multiple therapeutic areas. The first step in this is generating and screening high quality molecules as therapeutic candidates. Using Antha, our team increased throughput at this crucial step, allowing us to design, construct, and screen novel TSI candidates rapidly and helping to advance our therapeutic solutions.”

Drug discovery is a costly and laborious process where thousands of candidates are generated, screened and validated, but only a select few are chosen to move forward in the pipeline. Pharma companies are turning to automation and software to aid in the design, construction and screening of these compounds, reducing costs and increasing efficiency without compromising on quality.

To achieve this, biopharmaceutical companies like Ipsen are partnering with specialists in integrating the digital and physical aspects of R&D, providing an easy-to-use interface between scientists, design software, automated devices, and data handling downstream. This flexible, integrated approach to the discovery process has clear advantages in boosting efficiency at the earliest stages of drug development, with the ultimate goal of making more effective treatment options available to patients sooner.

Dr. Tim Fell, CEO of Synthace concluded, “We are thrilled to see our Antha platform applied to develop new biotherapeutics. Antha has accelerated Ipsen’s TSI construction and screening programme while reducing costs and the time scientists spent in the lab. Automating processes like these allows scientists to focus on experimental design and data analysis rather than liquid handling, enabling them to create more beneficial therapeutics for patients,”.

To learn more about automating drug discovery and development protocols, visit: https://www.synthace.com/customers/case-studies/detail/construct-assembly-for-the-development-of-new-therapeutics-with-ipsen/

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About Synthace

Based in London, UK and Boston, US, Synthace is accelerating biological discovery & optimization through computer-aided biology. Our cloud software platform, Antha, empowers biologists by enabling them to flexibly program their lab automation without the need to code. The graphical user interface has been designed by biologists for biologists, intuitively enabling them to automate their whole experiment from planning to execution, data collection and analysis. Antha is the cornerstone of the lab of the future, seamlessly connecting the digital realm of data with the physical of lab automation and wet-lab biology, automatically collecting and structuring data to accelerate biological understanding.

Synthace is unlocking the potential of biology for humankind and our environment. Synthace works with biopharmaceutical companies, and in 2016 was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer that is helping shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and in 2018 as a cool vendor by Gartner.


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