Synthesising uprising


that empowers biologists to leverage the potential of biology and help solve the grand challenges facing humanity.

As the laboratory moves towards automation of lab processes and data collection, developers are

providing software that gives biologists flexible and integrated control over lab hardware This enables experiments and lab workflows to be automated, and data from those workflows to be integrated and linked to the experiment that produced them. Synthace is one of the software

companies at the heart of this evolution of biology software. Its flagship product, Antha, provides a platform that can help lab users to design and automate experiments. The cloud-based platform helps to increase lab efficiency but it can also be used to plan and manage complex experiments easily in the cloud. Antha is available in both open-source and enterprise versions. Synthace is comprised of an

interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, biologists, mathematicians, and chemists designing new ways of working digitally in biology. The company was founded by a team of biologists in 2011 as a bio-process service provider, optimising the existing bio-processes using a multi-factorial experimental approach. The team began using automated robotic equipment to run complex experiments. Using this approach, they quickly realised that it was difficult to achieve the level of complexity and throughput needed with the equipment’s software. This led to the decision to design their

own software – something that would not only communicate with lab hardware but also help to plan and execute complex, multi-factorial experiments. The goal now is to develop a software platform

14 Scientific Computing World April/May 2019

Funding expansion In December 2018 Synthace announced $25.6m in Series B Funding to further expand product capabilities and fuel company growth. The company also aims to deliver software abstraction and automation to biological R&D and manufacturing. Synthace will use the new funds to

drive continued product development and build upon its cell and gene therapy customer base to accelerate awareness of its software. Synthace is a one of several companies

that are delving into the world of Computer Aided Biology (CAB), a new paradigm that comprises both physical and digital domains.

The digital side of things is powered by

artificial intelligence, includes software for designing and simulating biological systems, as well as methods of collating, structuring and analysing experimental data. Physical CAB focuses on systems that allow for the seamless transfer of

biological designs into real ‘wet lab’ experiments via logistics simulation and execution. In this area Synthace can help to automate experiments and streamline workflows. In October, Synthace launched a

white paper, Computer Aided Biology: Delivering Biotechnology in the 21st Century, which provides the most complete industry vision to date for how biological research will be transformed by an emerging ecosystem of cloud connected and digitally empowered research tools that augment human capabilities, accelerating the transition of biology towards becoming an engineering discipline. Synthace CEO Tim Fell said: ‘Digital-to-

physical workflows have transformed the semiconductor, aerospace, automobile and many other industries. ‘Now it is the turn of the biotechnology

industry, and we are grateful for the support of Horizons Ventures and our other new investment partners who share Synthace’s vision of how to facilitate that change.’

Bob Wiederhold, Synthace chairman,

concluded: ‘The realisation is setting in across industry and academia that

 Antha’s deck layout is designed to let scientists focus on science, not pipetting @scwmagazine |

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