The grand opening of Synthego’s new GMP facility was inaugurated with speeches from iconic figures in the gene editing space followed by a ribbon-cutting celebration. In this blog, you can relive this remarkable event.
On a warm Thursday in Redwood City, California, the sun shone down onto a brand new, L-shaped building with a distinctive mural of green and white digitized DNA molecules on a black background. The air was filled with excitement fueling the hustle and bustle of setting up chairs, umbrella tables, and a stage. Black, white, and green party balloons were being blown up, food trucks from local businesses were filing into the parking lot emanating delicious smells of food, and champagne glasses were being preemptively filled. As guests arrived, smiles filled their faces followed shortly by laughter as they reconnected with colleagues and shared inside jokes. Happy pop music like “I gotta feeling” and “CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!” set the mood, as the celebration of the ribbon cutting ceremony of Synthego’s brand new state-of-the-art Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) production facility began.
Joining the celebration with the 300+ Synthego employees led by founder and CEO Paul Dabrowski, were Redwood City Mayor, Jeff Gee, Redwood City Council Member, Diane Howard, key opinion leaders in the gene editing field, such as Dr. Fyodor Urnov, and several of Synthego’s investment partners. Dr. Fyodor Urnov is the Director of Technology and Translation at the Innovative Genomics Institute, and a Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley who is vocal about the need to have more GMP facilities to support the increasing demand for GMP reagents used in clinical trials for cell and gene therapies.
Since Dr. Urnov is recognized globally as a leader in the gene editing space, he receives many emails from patients and their loved ones inquiring about gene editing approaches to cure their specific disease. Dr. Urnov shared one of those heartfelt messages as the call-to-action of an inspiring speech. Also in his speech, Dr. Urnov addressed how critical it is to have accessible, clinical-grade CRISPR reagents as more and more biotech and pharmaceutical companies transition toward this highly efficacious gene editing tool in all areas of the therapy development pipeline.
In order for companies to use CRISPR reagents for cell and gene therapies, the CRISPR reagents MUST be manufactured under GMP conditions to meet regulatory guidelines, making the opening of Synthego’s GMP facility a major milestone in the gene editing therapeutic space.
To highlight the celebration and significance of this landmark day, Paul Dabrowski addressed the audience with excitement.
Paul Dabrowski shared his excitement of the new GMP facility with the crowd.
Because significant milestones can take years to develop, Paul shared the history of Synthego which laid the groundwork for the opening of this new GMP facility. In 2016, Paul and his brother Michael bet on CRISPR as the future of gene editing and developed their own oligonucleotide synthesizer for small-scale production. This original and modest 2,000 square foot space became the foundation from which Synthego now has produced over a million guide RNA molecules enabling researchers and clinicians around the world to understand, develop, and treat diseases. Building on this history, Paul shared that Synthego’s 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art GMP facility is powered 24/7 and is equipped with their very own innovative oligonucleotide synthesis technology that will produce those very same guide RNA molecules in large-scale at GMP standards. As the use of CRISPR gene editing tools increases in the drug and therapeutic space, Synthego will be at the forefront providing high-quality CRISPR reagents and regulatory support enabling life-saving treatments to progress through clinical trials successfully. Standing in front of the uniquely designed DNA mural on the side of the GMP facility, Paul expressed:
“Nearly every one of us has a loved one or a friend who has been impacted by a life threatening disease or disorder that can be addressed by a CRISPR based medicine. Today, we stand at the forefront of innovation, where we will help our customers create cures for various cancers, [and] the many thousands of genetic disorders... This is going to provide life changing transformative therapies for countless patients.”
Paul Dabrowski, CEO, Synthego
After recognizing and thanking the many members of the Synthego team who helped make this GMP facility possible, Paul reminded us that this is not the culmination of Synthego’s commitment, but merely a milestone on the journey, pointing to a future where Synthego continues to expand its GMP manufacturing capabilities to keep pace with the unprecedented growth in CRISPR therapy clinical trials.
To inaugurate the GMP facility following Paul’s speech, Mayor Jeff Gee, City Council Member Diane Howard, Jake Johnson (Synthego’s Sr. VP/General Manager, Clinical), Dana Sailor (Synthego’s Sr. Manager, Programs), Trevor Longbottom (Synthego’s Director, Operations Engineering), and Paul excitedly grouped around the sparkling black and gold ceremonial ribbon. As the scissors cut through the ribbon, much like the guide RNA-Cas9 complex cuts through DNA, cheers and applause filled the parking lot as the moment more than two years in the making was achieved.
Synthego employees, local politicians, Synthego investors, and key figures in the gene editing space cheerfully gather to smile, capturing the historic day of the inauguration of Synthego’s new GMP facility.
With champagne glasses in one hand and delicious local cuisine in the other, partygoers moved to the happy-vibed music while toasting this remarkable achievement. Together, colleagues, political officials, gene editing investors, and an iconic figure in the gene editing field celebrated the bright future and Synthego’s leading role in the gene editing and therapeutic space for years to come!
Although this celebratory day focused on the GMP facility, the celebration goes beyond just the building’s inauguration. We at Synthego want to sincerely thank with deepest gratitude all of our supporters during this process. Many teams at Synthego worked to achieve this significant milestone, and it is their dedication, hard work, and passion that enables Synthego to partner with researchers to create cures because it is the people that drive innovation forward.
The sun sets on Synthego's GMP Factory 2 inaugural celebration day.