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Industry Forms Association to Address Opportunities and Challenges of Synthetic Biology

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 General News J E 4
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 1 To address the emergence of the synthetic biology industry and to promote its potential, a group of individuals and companies announced the formation of the Synthetic Biology Industry Association (SynBIA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week. The goal of the association is to provide a forum for individuals and commercial interests to discuss the new industry, address its opportunities and its challenges, and advocate for its development. Founding members include representatives of febit, GENEART, Ginkgo BioWorks, Biosearch Technologies and Sutro Biopharma.

The association will serve as the trade association home for a diverse group of companies and individuals involved in synthetic biology development, including companies involved in gene synthesis, pharmaceutical development, energy development, and pollution control. The goal is to responsibly join the public discussion and promote development.

Among the more specific goals of SynBIA is an informed discussion about the risks and rewards of development. This includes participation in the discussion of dual use and in the current discussion regarding voluntary screening obligations (codes of conduct). Association members are active participants in meetings with the FBI, the National Academy of Sciences and the Association for the Advancement of Science relating to the developing synthetic biology field.

Founding Chairman JD Kittle noted, "The industry has strong potential to be a part of the solution to problems in the world's health, energy and environmental arenas. SynBIA plans to be a part of the discussion advocating for increased funding to enhance participation in these areas."

Founding Board member, Mark Waxman of Foley & Lardner, also pointed out that with the increasing visibility, IP portfolios, and transaction volume, there is a developing need for an association to address industry issues. Founding board member Frank Notka of GENEART complemented, "These industry issues have to be tackled with regard to the international character and the resulting challenges for transnational arrangements. SynBIA will through its international composition and orientation contribute to this scheme."

The SynBIA will have a collaborative relationship with the International Association of Synthetic Biology (IASB) and, through that relationship, seek to enhance international relationships developing in this field. The IASB is the international platform for synthetic biology as a field of activity. Cord F. Staehler, CEO and President of febit who is a founder and board member of both SynBIA and IASB stated, "We welcome this new addition, as it is important to have an international approach to this new and exciting industry."

For more information about SynBIA please visit www.synbia.org

For information about SynBIA please contact: jkittlejr@gmail.com

For information about IASB please contact: info@ia-sb.eu or visit www.ia-sb.eu

Contact:Martina SchwarzkopfRusso Partners212-845-4292martina.schwarzkopf@russopartnersllc.com

SOURCE Synthetic Biology Industry Association (SynBIA)
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