Tag Archives: Oxitec

A low-cost, open-source DIY DNA Synthesizer Project

PDF : DIY DNA Synthesizer Project

“Biology is largely about the manipulation, maintenance and transport of DNA.

Oligonucleotide synthesis is too complex and tiresome to make genomes by hand

Technical feasability has been proven by already existing commercial technologies, as well as next-generation  platforms from academia.

Material costs of these devices – under $5,000. Traditional synthesizers could be built cheaper.

Mail-order DNA synthesis companies have constructed a shared “harmful sequences” database.”


Applied Biosystems 3400 DNA Synthesizer

Link to PDF

Applied Biosystems 3400 DNA Synthesizer

The Applied Biosystems 3400 DNA Synthesizer is a versatile, four-column,
benchtop instrument designed for 40-nmol, 200-nmol, and 1-μmol synthesis
scales. Simultaneous synthesis and cleavage of four oligonucleotides (25-
mer at 40- or 200-nmol scales) requires approximately four hours

DNA Purity and Quality Established phosphoramidite chemistry
produces DNA that is pure and chemically authentic. The instrument routinely
synthesizes oligonucleotides with average coupling yields > 98% as measured by
HPLC analysis. A simple desalting of crude deprotected oligonucleotides is adequate for most applications

Applied Biosystems 394 DNA/RNA Synthesizer

The Applied BioSystems 394 DNA/RNA Synthesizer, automates all steps of single stranded oligonucleotide synthesis. When used as a system including Applied Biosystems reagents and columns, these instruments produce the highest quality synthetic DNA currently attainable while minimizing synthesis time and cost.

Applied Biosystems 394 DNA/RNA Synthesizer
Applied Biosystems 394 DNA/RNA Synthesizer


ABI 3400 DNA/ RNA Synthesizer

eABI 3400 DNA/ RNA Synthesizer
Applied Biosystems 3400 DNA / RNA Synthesizer
The Applied Biosystems 3400 DNA Synthesizer is a fully programmable instrument that provides four-column simultaneous synthesis, and features automatic base dilution and analysis of coupling efficiency. Fast cycle times, online cleavage, and proven phosphoramidite chemistry result in exceptionally pure oligonucleotides. Versatile, dependable, and easy to use, the 3400 synthesizer is a compact, bench-top instrument designed for 40 nmol, 200 nmol, and 1 µmol synthesis scales. Simultaneous synthesis and cleavage of four oligonucleotides (25- mer at 40- or 200-nmol scales) requires approximately four hours.


Note: The technology is very CHEAP for a nation state or corporation. The above models can be bought for under $50K. There are DIY efforts to make this even cheaper, think along the lines of 3D-printing. This clearly shows the routine competency regarding DNA/RNA synthesis and tinkering.

Intrexon Corporation – Synthetic Biology


“The ability to create and modify ‘organic’ materials on increasingly larger scales has occurred with a number of breakthroughs in genetic engineering including automated DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis, the advent of computational bioinformatics, and the creation of genetically modified organisms. Today, Intrexon’s expertise in designing DNA and constructing complex gene programs utilizing a modular, scalable approach with an embedded capacity to predict the viability of a biological solution, places it at the leading-edge of this growing synthetic biology discipline.”

RT: Genetically engineered mosquitoes battle Zika virus in Brazil


The ‘Friendly Aedes aegypti Project’ conducted by the company’s subsidiary Oxitec aims to tackle the virus spread in the city of Piracicaba, based on the success of previous preventative measures introduced across Central and South America.

“As the principal source for the fastest growing vector-borne infection in the world in Dengue Fever, as well as the increasingly challenging Zika virus, controlling the Aedes aegypti population provides the best defense against these serious diseases for which there are no cures,” said Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry.
…Oxitec is initiating a new mosquito production facility in Piracicaba that will have capacity to protect over 300,000 people,”

…Oxitec’s previous trials on mosquito population began in April 2015 after Brazil’s National Biosafety Committee (CTNBio) gave the green light for the UK company to release the insects into the wild.

“By the end of the calendar year, results had already indicated a reduction in wild mosquito larvae by 82 percent. Oxitec’s efficacy trials across Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands all resulted in a greater than 90 percent suppression of the wild Ae. aegypti mosquito population – an unprecedented level of control,” the statement said.

Marketwatch Oxitec aricle

“Intrexon Corporation [http://www.dna.com/] , a leader in synthetic biology, today announced its subsidiary Oxitec and Piracicaba City Hall have expanded the ‘Friendly Aedes aegypti Project’ in Piracicaba, Brazil following strong results for controlling the Ae. aegypti mosquito population, the primary vector for dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus outbreaks around the world

Samuel Broder, M.D., SVP and Head of Intrexon’s Health Sector commented, “As a vector that transmits a number of serious diseases, the Aedes aegypti mosquito poses a major threat to public health and the economic welfare of nations. Brazil has been hard hit by dengue and the situation there has been aggravated by the recent introduction of Zika virus infections leading to a startling increase in the number of children being born with microcephaly.” Dr. Broder continued, “Through the responsible engineering of biology, we demonstrate a new paradigm of species-specific vector control resulting in dramatic reductions of dangerous mosquitoes, without persistence or harm to the ecosystem, representing a major scientific, environmental and clinical advance.”


Oxitec GM Insect products

Bloomberg: Oxitec productsBloomberg: Oxitec products
Aedes aegypti OX513A, a bisex RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia and Latin America

OX3604C, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Mexico

Aedes albopictus OX3688, a female-flightless RIDL strain for genetic backgrounds in Asia

Diamondback Moth OX4319L, a fluorescent marker to identify the Oxitec moths and distinguish them from wild ones

Pink bollworm OX1138, a fluorescent marker that glows red when viewed under certain filters.

Pink bollworm OX3402, a fluorescent marker that offers a replacement to irradiation for sterilization of the moths

Medfly OX3864A, a female-specific strain, which enables separation of the sexes to allow male release by removal of the supplement from the diet of the final release generation.

Mexfly OX3097B, a female specific Oxitec strain that provides female lethality in the absence of a dietary supplement by permitting a male-only release in the final release generation

Olive fly OX3713A, a female-specific Oxitec strain, which provides separation of the sexes to allow a male release.

Aedes aegypti OX513A

Product profile
OX513A is a bisex RIDL strain. Males are released to mate with wild females. The progeny of such matings die as late larvae or pupae. Continual releases of sufficient numbers of RIDL males will reduce the target population to below the level needed to transmit disease. The late lethality means that RIDL larvae compete with wild-type larvae for resources,adding to the overall effectiveness of control. Before release, male and female pupae are separated mechanically, exploiting the fact that they are naturally significantly different in size. The strain contains the DsRed marker which is clearly visible in larvae, a useful tool for quality control in production and effective monitoring in the field. OX513A is available in Asian and Latin American genetic backgrounds.

OX513A has regulatory approvals for import and contained testing in Brazil, Cayman Islands, France, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. Open field trials have taken place in both Grand Cayman and Malaysia, and are currently also underway in Brazil.

Oxitec (GM Mosqitoes) – Our Team

Oxitec Ltd. was founded in 2002 and is based in Oxford, United Kingdom. As of September 8, 2015, Oxitec Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation.


Hadyn Parry, Chief Executive Officer

Hadyn ParryHadyn has an extensive background in the Life Science sector. During his fifteen-year career at Zeneca/Syngenta he held various positions, including General Manager of Zeneca Plant Sciences and European Director and Global Head of R&D for Advanta, one of the world’s largest seed companies. More recently he was CEO of MNL Pharmaceuticals, a company that was focused on pioneering a novel approach in immunology. Hadyn is also Chairman of Help For Heroes, a charity founded in 2007 to support wounded British soldiers.

Simon Warner, Chief Scientific Officer

Simon WarnerSimon has eighteen years of global commercial experience in biotechnology R&D in various roles at Syngenta in the United Kingdom and the United States, leading collaborative programs and delivering biotechnology products in crops for feed and fuel. Additionally, whilst at Syngenta he also worked as the R&D lead on technology acquisition on various agreements. Immediately prior to joining Oxitec, he was Senior Director of Research and Development Programs at Sapphire Energy, a start-up making algae based fuel, based in San Diego, California. Simon has a BSc in biochemistry from UCL and PhD in plant molecular biology from the University of Leicester.

Bill Fleming, Chief Financial Officer

Bill Fleming Bill joins us from Bayer Healthcare having held senior finance positions in Europe and the USA. He has a law degree from Cambridge University and is a qualified ACMA. Previously, Bill served as European Finance Director for Visible Genetics, a pioneering company in the field of nucleic acid diagnostics.

Camilla Beech, Regulatory Affairs Manager

Camilla BeechCamilla has extensive international experience in the regulation of biotechnology products and crops. She obtained commercial food approval in the UK for the first GM crop in Europe, and obtained registrations for numerous biotechnology crops in Africa, Asia and the Americas. She advised the Humanitarian Board for Golden Rice on regulatory matters (1997 to 2004), and was a member of both US (BIO) and European Inter-industry groups (EUROPABIO) on The Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, Convention on Biological Diversity and Plant made Pharmaceuticals. Her most recent post was International Regulatory Manager for Syngenta Biotechnology Inc., based in San Diego, California.

Glen Slade, Head of Business Development

Glen SladeGlen has worked in agribusiness since 1998 when he joined Zeneca Agrochemicals as Head of Strategy. There he championed the role of biotechnology in integrated crop solutions, leading to the merger that formed Syngenta. He then worked in independent consulting roles addressing high profile marketing and strategy projects for Syngenta, Arysta and other agribusiness firms. In parallel to this work, Glen set up and ran two IT-related companies. He has a degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from Insead.

Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease

Published on 3 Jan 2013
In a single year, there are 200-300 million cases of malaria and 50-100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide. So: Why haven’t we found a way to effectively kill mosquitoes yet? Hadyn Parry presents a fascinating solution: genetically engineering male mosquitoes to make them sterile, and releasing the insects into the wild, to cut down on disease-carrying species.
TED Talk Link

“And that’s exactly where we are. So this is technology that was developed in Oxford University a few years ago. The company itself, Oxitec, we’ve been working for the last 10 years, very much on a sort of similar development pathway that you’d get with a pharmaceutical company. So about 10 years of internal evaluation, testing, to get this to a state where we think it’s actually ready. And then we’ve gone out into the big outdoors, always with local community consent, always with the necessary permits. So we’ve done field trials now in the Cayman Islands, a small one in Malaysia, and two more now in Brazil…

We can produce them, in a space a bit more than this red carpet, I can produce about 20 million a week. We can transport them around the world. It’s not very expensive, because it’s a coffee cup — something the size of a coffee cup will hold about three million eggs. So freight costs aren’t our biggest problem. (Laughter) So we’ve got that. You could call it a mosquito factory. And for Brazil, where we’ve been doing some trials, the Brazilian government themselves have now built their own mosquito factory, far bigger than ours, and we’ll use that for scaling up in Brazil.