Using the vast accumulated knowledge that exists for plant genetics, we can design novel approaches to bioproduction that stably increase yields with scaling capacity not achievable by traditional cell based or fermentation approaches. BioDrive’s approach to prevent silencing of transgenes means that we can achieve more efficient complex modifications of plant systems with lower time, effort, and cost required in generating and maintaining these lines than can be achieved by other plant bioreactor approaches. We are establishing an efficient workflow. The outcome is a streamlined and cost efficient design-build-test cycle tailored for scalable plant based molecular production.
Our Genetic Engineering Approach
BioDrive’s underlying technology is a method to evade gene silencing in a modified organism. Previous applications of genome engineering to plant systems have focused on achieving expression of a desired molecule in a low yield, controlled, and tissue specific way but have largely ignored the processes by which the modified organism will respond to and silence the foreign genetic material.
By utilizing known components of the silencing pathways involved in turning off transgene expression we can prevent the establishment of a silencing phenotype by employing a type of “genetic camouflage”, in which the host cannot differentiate between the foreign element we integrate and a native gene. Utilizing this system allows us to not only achieve higher and more stable expression of a specific desired transgene but allows us to integrate larger and more complex genetic constructs to stably modify intricate aspects of plant biology across many generations.
Our technology enables permanent genetic modification
Increases stability when low number of genes introduced
Prevents silencing when high number of genes introduced
Reenvisioning Fermentation Processes
Production of desirable proteins usually takes place in cells from mammals, yeast, or bacteria grown and cultivated in a process referred to as precision fermentation. These fermenters require large upfront investment and running costs, have poor scalability, and run the risk of contamination with human pathogens.
Plant use for protein production, or molecular farming, offers the advantages of lower upfront and running costs, massive scalability, and safety from transmission of human pathogens. The application of BioDrive’s anti-silencing approach unlocks the low-cost scaling potential in molecular farming previously unattainable due to low expression of transgenes by plants.
Economical Production of New Foods
Growth factors are proteins with important folding patterns that are necessary to grow animal cells and make cell-based meat, these are typically derived from calf blood and are very expensive. Achieving ethical, cheap, and high yield production of growth factors is necessary to enable production of alternate meats at a scale and price point that is comparable to conventional animal farming operations.
The application of BioDrive’s anti-silencing approach allows for the complex modifications necessary to produce high yields of appropriately folded growth factors with molecular farming, removing an integral barrier to the application of alternate meats and removing the reliance on the animal farming industry.
Sustainable Solutions For Agriculture
Crop loss due to pest damage and disease reduces the amount of food available to feed our growing global population. By more efficiently expressing safe and targeted anti-pest components or induce immunity to diseases in our crops, we can efficiently reduce crop loss without the application of environmentally damaging pesticides. By enabling more stable and complex genome editing in plants we are unlocking the ability to create crops that generate higher yield in a more sustainable way than conventional approaches.