Twist Bioscience

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Twist Bioscience
Russell 2000 Index component
IndustryChemical manufacturing
FoundersBill Banyai, Bill Peck, and Emily Leproust
ProductsGenes and gene fragments
WebsiteOfficial website

Twist Bioscience is a public company based in San Francisco that manufactures synthetic DNA for clients in the biotechnology industry.[1] Twist was founded in 2013 by Emily Leproust and Bill Peck, who each had worked on DNA synthesis technology at Agilent Technologies, and Bill Banyai.[2][3]

The company has developed proprietary microplate equipment based in part on the photolithography technology used to make semiconductors in the computer industry in Silicon Valley, as well as advanced liquid handling robot technology that builds DNA in the microplates.[1] Typical microplates have 96 wells and are about the size of two decks of playing cards; Twist's chips are about the size of a postage stamp and have 96 wells, and inside of each well is an additional 96 wells.[3] In 2016, Twist acquired the Israeli software company Genome Compiler, which sold software used to design synthetic DNA, and then signed a partnership agreement with the similar software company Desktop Genetics; each deal provided a way for customers to order DNA from Twist directly from the software with which the DNA was designed.[4]

The company sells the genes, gene fragments, and oligonucleotides to customers who use them in basic research, drug discovery (for example, creating monoclonal antibody drug candidates), industrial biotechnology (for example, companies wanting to find better enzymes with which to generate biofuel), and agricultural biotechnology.[2][1] Microsoft also purchased DNA it used to do research in DNA digital data storage.[5]

As of July 2017 Twist had raised around $190 million.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Strickland, Eliza (December 23, 2015). "DNA Manufacturing Enters the Age of Mass Production". IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News.
  2. ^ a b Brewster, Signe (4 June 2014). "Twist Bioscience thinks we can save the world with genetically engineered plants and microbes". Gigaom.
  3. ^ a b Zhang, Sarah (November 20, 2015). "Cheap DNA Sequencing Is Here. Writing DNA Is Next". Wired.
  4. ^ Taylor, Nick Paul (June 4, 2016). "Twist, Desktop Genetics team up to pair CRISPR design and DNA synthesis services". Fierce Biotech.
  5. ^ "Why Microsoft Just Bought 10 Million Strands of DNA". Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  6. ^ Stevenson, Christine (July 31, 2017). "22 Synthetic Biology Companies Have Raised Half a Billion Dollars in 2017". SynBioBeta.