Primordial Genetics Inc has launched its laboratory operations at the JLABS biotechnology incubator on July 19, 2013. The company obtained seed funding from a private investor as well as a Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation. The funds will be used to conduct proof-of-concept work in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to develop novel strains highly resistant to alcohols and environmental stresses for use in fermentation and production of fuels and chemicals.
Primordial Genetics Inc has been awarded a Phase I STTR grant in collaboration with Animesh Ray’s laboratory at the Keck Graduate Institute. The grant is titled “Function Generator: A novel combinatorial technology for engineering product tolerance traits in yeast”.
The project will focus on the application of Function Generator™, Primordial Genetics’ proprietary gain-of-function genetic technology, to the development of alcohol tolerance trait genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Function Generator™ is designed as a new way to reprogram a cell and confer useful phenotypes. Synthetic genes are constructed using proprietary combinatorial strategies, limiting the ability of organisms to generate compensatory genetic or epigenetic changes. High-complexity expression libraries of these genes are transferred into the organism followed by selection or screening for desirable characteristics.
The proposed experiments will demonstrate the feasibility of the technology in a screen for butanol tolerance using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast commonly used for alcohol production. Butanol is a second-generation fuel fermented from biomass and suitable for blending with gasoline. Novel trait genes identified in tolerance and resistance selections and screens will be analyzed and improved using the Ray laboratory’s know-how in yeast genetic modeling and computational phenotypic predictions.
May 9, 2013 - Primordial Genetics Inc. invited to join the JLABS biotechnology incubator (formerly Janssen Labs) in San Diego.
Primordial Genetics Inc has been invited to join the JLABS biotechnology incubator in La Jolla CA (formerly known as Janssen Labs, http://www.jnjinnovation.com/jlabs). JLABS, established by Janssen Research & Development (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) in January 2012, and now part of J&J Innovation (http://www.jnjinnovation.com/), provides innovative startup companies with an efficient way to start their operations in the biotechnology industry. Tenant companies are offered a high degree of flexibility in the amount of bench and office space occupied and the timing of the lease. Primordial Genetics is currently occupying laboratory space in the incubator’s Concept Lab, and has access to the entire facility of shared space and equipment.
The 40,000 sq ft no-strings attached, turnkey facility gives companies access to individual units for wet laboratory research and fully furnished office spaces, along with shared facilities containing over 70 pieces of equipment. These shared facilities include core biology and chemistry facilities, three tissue culture rooms, two microbial culture rooms, two cold rooms, two rooms containing specialized equipment (such as a FACS sorter, LC-MS instruments, compound, inverted, and confocal microscopes), five conference/meeting rooms and a business center equipped with printer/scanner/fax. Wireless internet is present throughout the facility.
The individual lab units have modern amenities for research and come equipped with features such as central RODI water and vacuum lines, fume hoods, emergency showers/eye wash stations, HazMat storage cabinets, 110V and 220V power supplies for instruments and emergency power outlets. Janssen Research & Development also facilitates permitting of the companies in its incubator for compliance with CA regulations, and gives the companies low-cost access to its biohazardous and chemical waste disposal systems. The incubator also provides access to interested investors and to business development support and is a perfect environment for small companies to launch and thrive.
JLABS encourages emerging companies to apply for a spot in its incubator facility. Qualified companies are invited to join the facility based on the following criteria: compelling and credible science and/or technology; potential to meet an area of significant medical or market need; and the quality of the management team.