DNA synthesis is one of the pillars of Covid-19 research that has suffered supply disruptions during lockdowns. Thomas Ybert, CEO of DNA Script, discusses the French company’s plans to protect research from future disruptions by giving every lab the ability to synthesize its own DNA molecules.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever the importance of medical research. However, the lockdown has affected vital parts of the research and development process to create new treatments and diagnostics. One of them is the synthesis of DNA, which is still mostly outsourced to third parties and requires on-demand delivery.
Thomas Ybert co-founded the Paris-based DNA Script in 2014 to develop equipment that allows labs to synthesize their own DNA molecules within hours. This could be convenient for the average researcher, who normally needs to wait up to several days for the arrival of molecules from centralized suppliers. To Ybert, DNA Script’s mission has never been more relevant than during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From the very first day Covid-19 hit different Western countries, we were contacted by some groups in the US and Europe, in order for those groups to get really quick access to DNA. All of those teams shared their stress,” Ybert reflected.
DNA molecules are needed for Covid-19 tests,