Editorial Article: Ribbon Biolabs progresses the field of synthetic DNA

Ribbon Biolabs Co-founder, Wladimir Labeikovsky, provides unique perspectives on synthetic DNA and discusses the company’s commitment to producing pure and accurate synthetic DNA molecules

26 Feb 2024

Wladimir Labeikovsky, Head of Data Operations and co-founder, Ribbon Biolabs
Wladimir Labeikovsky, Head of Data Operations and co-founder, Ribbon Biolabs

Ribbon Biolabs, founded in 2018, has shown remarkable potential in its mission to provide unmatched solutions to the synthesis of complex DNA. The ability to precisely and accurately synthesize DNA unlocks a range of possibilities, offering a canvas for scientists to engineer, manipulate, and reimagine biological systems to study and treat disease. This provides scientists with the tools to facilitate unprecedented discoveries and transformative breakthroughs.

Head of Data Operations and Co-founder of Ribbon Biolabs, Wladimir Labeikovsky, shared with us the beginnings, technology, and visions of this innovative company. 

Technology and innovation

At the heart of Ribbon Biolabs' success lies the InfiniSynth™ technology. This revolutionary approach to DNA synthesis leverages the power of intelligent algorithms to optimize the assembly process with great precision and efficiency. Labeikovsky explains, "The core idea of Ribbon is that if you know the DNA sequences that you want, there will be an optimal way to assemble it." This commitment to precision and efficiency has set Ribbon Biolabs apart in the synthetic biology market. 

The advantages of InfiniSynth over traditional DNA synthesis methods are manifold. By starting with smaller building blocks, Ribbon Biolabs achieves higher purity and accuracy in DNA constructs. Labeikovsky elaborates, "You want to be able to assemble the sequence without errors."

Additionally, the scalability of the technology enables cost-effective production at scale, offering a competitive edge in the market. Labeikovsky emphasizes, "Once you start assembling molecules at scale you get some efficiency because you can make these parts of different molecules at the same time." This efficiency not only reduces production costs but also accelerates the pace of research and development, driving innovation across diverse industries.

Ribbon Biolabs is committed to providing top of the range synthetic DNA solutions to its customers
Ribbon Biolabs is committed to providing top of the range synthetic DNA solutions to its customers

Precision and purity

As Labeikovsky reflects on the journey of Ribbon Biolabs, they highlight its ability to address the unique needs of its clients, even when other providers fall short. While early on in the company's journey the belief was that the key differentiator would be the company’s ability to make longer molecules, the team soon realized than an even more durable differentiator was the ability to create very complex sequences for customers. Labeikovsky notes, "Customers will come to us with difficult sequences that multiple providers cannot make." They continue, “We can make these very complex sequences, and we can make them in such a way that the end product is very accurate and is very pure." With its products boasting “upwards of 1 in 90,000 accuracy”, it is evident that purity and accuracy sets Ribbon Biolabs apart in the market. Such precision not only meets but exceeds the expectations of its customers, ensuring the success of downstream experiments and driving scientific progress.

Catering to a diverse clientele, including biopharma, biotherapeutics, and gene therapy companies, Ribbon Biolabs delivers tailored DNA constructs for pre-clinical research and therapeutic development. Its commitment to quality and precision ensures the seamless integration of DNA constructs into complex biological systems, paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in biotechnology.

Origins and vision

Ribbon Biolabs has the capability to create long complex synthetic DNA sequences
Ribbon Biolabs utilizes multiplexed parallel assembly driven by automation to assemble highly accurate and complex DNA

The inception of Ribbon Biolabs traces back to an opportune meeting between Labeikovsky and the company's founder, Harold Vladar. Here, Labeikovsky was introduced to the idea of producing long complex DNA. This encounter ignited a shared passion for synthetic biology and the untapped potential it held. Reflecting on their initial interaction, Labeikovsky reminisces, "We realized that synthetic DNA opens up a huge number of possibilities in engineering biology." It was this realization that served as the catalyst for the birth of Ribbon Biolabs.

Driven by a shared vision to overcome the limitations of traditional DNA synthesis methods, Vladar and Labeikovsky set out to pioneer a new era in biotechnology. The goal was clear: to revolutionize the synthesis of long complex DNA sequences and unlock the full potential of synthetic biology. As they toiled away in "garage labs", refining their concepts and seeking funding, they remained steadfast in their pursuit of excellence. Labeikovsky reflects on this formative period, acknowledging the role of persistence and patience in their journey, "Persistence was the key...that led us to where we are today."

Future outlooks 

Looking ahead, Ribbon Biolabs aims to leverage its technological prowess to address some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology. As Labeikovsky envisions, "Our goal is to be able to build any arbitrary DNA sequence." This ambitious objective speaks to Ribbon Biolabs' commitment to unlocking the full potential of synthetic DNA, enabling researchers and developers to explore new frontiers of biological design and engineering.

Indeed, there are many applications Ribbon Biolabs seeks with ever-advancing DNA synthesis capabilities. These not only include biopharma and medical applications, but also some unconventional ones, such as in digital data storage. As the demand for ultra-high-density data storage technology continues to surge, DNA-based storage solutions offer a viable alternative with excellent storage capacity and longevity. 

Reflecting on the broader landscape of synthetic biology, Labeikovsky identifies key trends shaping the future of the industry. They highlight the trend towards horizontal diversification among companies, stating, "What we see and want to be mindful of is not falling into a trap of having to do everything." This strategic approach ensures focus and specialization, driving innovation in specific domains while fostering collaboration and synergy across the industry.

In the words of Labeikovsky, "Our goal is to be able to build any arbitrary DNA sequence...complexity, length, no limitations." With this bold vision guiding its journey, Ribbon Biolabs remains at the vanguard of synthetic biology, unlocking new possibilities and shaping the future of biotechnology.

Learn more about Ribbon Biolabs' commitment to complex synthetic DNA synthesis.