Microsoft Partners With Biotech Companies On Programming Biology
In order to produce new medicines and potentially materials that could be applicable to a range of industries, Microsoft intends to bring its programming abilities to bear on biotech, with the objective of building an end-to-end platform for programming the biology of living cells.
The technology giant’s Station B study team–based at Microsoft Research’s first”wet” molecular biology laboratory, housed in Cambridge, U.K.–is partnering with a trio representing industry, technology, and academia: gene and cell therapy manufacturer Oxford Biomedica, laboratory software developer Synthace and Princeton University.
Microsoft’s biological computation head Andrew Phillips stated that programming Biology has the potential to address some of the world’s toughest problems in medicine, and also to lay the foundations for a future bio-economy based on sustainable technologies.
Microsoft’s new devotion follows over a decade of research to processing data from biological systems, with the project’s structure mirroring its Station Q team and work in quantum computing.
Together With Oxford Biomedica, Microsoft expects its platform will improve the yield and purity of viral vector delivery systems for gene therapies which would further help in reducing the cost of products through machine learning and cloud calculating.
Oxford will contribute large datasets for analysis to the initial two-year collaboration, while researchers develop in silico models of the biological processes used in production.
Jason Slingsby, chief business officer of Oxford Biomedica which holds a contract with Novartis to supply vector material for its Kymriah gene therapy stated that It builds on our digital framework initiative, established in 2018, and the work underway within our collaboration with Synthace to rapidly and flexible design, simulate and execute complex experimental designs to create next-generation manufacturing processes, including with stable producer cell lines for lentiviral vectors.
Synthace will additionally help Station B develop applications for conducting reproducible experiments throughout a variety of automatic lab apparatus, in addition, to scale up data creation attempts in computer-aided biology.
Meanwhile, Princeton University will employ Station B’s system toward the comprehension of bacterial biofilms, which may play roles in disease, transmission, and antimicrobial immunity.
Since Station B’s initial academic companion, Princeton researchers will analyze the proteins made by cholera germs to assist form biofilms, allowing the disease to develop nearly anywhere and fight treatments. By genetically programming different proteins to light up, they’ll have the ability to quantify how and where they’re created, in addition, to catalog and construct models of the elements.
This follows match among other enormous firms looking to add the bio to tech, with the likes of big firms Apple, Google, and IBM all trying their hand in biology, either on their own or teaming with or financing up-and-coming startups in regions like aging or cancer