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Touchlight Awarded Grant Extension to Further Develop DNA-Enabled Biobatteries with U.S. Office for Naval Research and UK Defence Science & Technology Laboratory

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HAMPTON, UK, April 25, 2024 / Biotech Newswire / -- Touchlight, a biotechnology CDMO pioneering enzymatic DNA production has been awarded a second grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to continue work with Professor Shelley Minteer's research group, Missouri University of Science and Technology, to further propel the development of DNA-enabled biobatteries.

Biobatteries use enzymes to generate electricity from the breakdown of complex fuels, such as carbohydrates, fatty acids and alcohols. The enzymes require proper immobilization and stabilization for optimal performance; DNA hydrogels are an attractive solution, however DNA scalability and cost has previously hindered this approach. Touchlight’s revolutionary “doggybone” DNA (dbDNA™) platform offers DNA production capabilities at the scale and purity required to solve these issues. 

Following successful proof of concept studies in the original grant from ONR and Dstl, Touchlight has been awarded an additional USD 0.7M to develop a biobattery prototype with real-world applicability – as well as to assess stability and portability via environmental testing.

These innovative biobatteries hold the promise of addressing critical challenges associated with conventional portable power sources, including limited energy storage capacity and environmental impact.  By combining Touchlight’s proprietary enzymatic DNA amplification platform with the cutting edge biobattery research of Professor Shelley Minteer's research group, this project aims to build on a successful foundation and continue to advance toward realising that promise. 

The extended grant signifies a continued commitment to innovation and collaboration in pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.


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About Touchlight
Touchlight is a privately-owned innovation-driven CDMO based in London, U.K., focused on the provision of DNA services and manufacture of enzymatically produced doggybone DNA (dbDNA™) to enable the development of genetic medicines. Touchlight provides rapid, enzymatic DNA development and manufacturing for all advanced therapy production, including mRNA, viral and non-viral gene therapy and DNA API. dbDNA is a minimal, linear, covalently closed structure, which eliminates bacterial sequences. Touchlight’s revolutionary enzymatic production platform enables unprecedented speed, scale, and the ability to target genes with a size and complexity that is impossible with current technologies. Clients can be supported from pre-clinical through clinical development, to licencing and tech transfer for use in-house.  



Karen Fallen, Chief Executive Officer
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+44 20 8481 9200


Keywords: Bioelectric Energy Sources; Proof of Concept Study; Electricity; DNA; Hydrogels; Renewable Energy; Biotechnology; Carbohydrates; Fatty Acids; United Kingdom; Touchlight; Grant; DNA-enabled biobatteries; U.S. Office for Naval Research; UK Defence Science & Technology Laboratory; Biotechnology CDMO; Enzymatic DNA production; Office of Naval Research (ONR); Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl); Professor Shelley Minteer; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Biobatteries; Enzymes; Electricity generation; Carbohydrates; Fatty acids; Alcohols; DNA hydrogels; "Doggybone" DNA (dbDNA™); Prototype development; Real-world applicability; Environmental testing; Portable power sources; Energy storage capacity; Sustainable energy solutions; Collaboration; London, U.K.

Source: Biotech Newswire

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