Menlo Park, CA – April 28, 2015 – The International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC), an association of the world’s leading gene synthesis companies, today announced that it has established itself as a not-for-profit U.S. corporation. The move is intended to make it easier for the organization to welcome new members, especially small companies, not-for-profits and academic institutions, so that they may leverage the biosecurity expertise of the IGSC.
Working together with governments, NGOs, law enforcement, the synthetic biology community and other stakeholders, the IGSC aims to safeguard biosecurity and promote the beneficial application of gene synthesis technology. By screening the sequences of ordered genes and vetting customers, IGSC members help to ensure that science and industry realize the many benefits of gene synthesis technology while minimizing risk.
“The IGSC has developed a common protocol for biosecurity screening and devotes resources to leading-edge development of best practices,” said Todd Peterson, Chief Technology Officer of Synthetic Genomics Inc. and current Board Chair of the IGSC. “By establishing a more formal structure for the IGSC, we hope to encourage organizations involved in gene synthesis across the globe to benefit from the biosecurity expertise of our membership.”
The IGSC encourages other gene synthesis companies and institutions with common biosecurity goals to join. IGSC Voting Membership is available to gene synthesis companies while Associate Membership is available to smaller companies, not-for-profit entities and academic institutions.
“The IGSC takes pride in leading the way on biosecurity practice and innovation in the field,” said Tim Conlon, Assistant General Counsel, Capital Markets and International for Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. and current IGSC Secretary. “A strong investment in strong biosecurity practice now will help to ensure the safe growth of an industry that holds the keys to important technological advances in the coming decades.”
The IGSC was founded in 2009 by the world’s leading gene synthesis companies to advance biosecurity across the industry. The IGSC’s goals are (a) to educate gene synthesis companies and the public regarding sequence and customer screening of synthetic gene orders; (b) to identify and prevent the unauthorized synthesis and sale of inappropriate sequences; and (c) to coordinate development of ongoing best practices. For more information about membership or the IGSC screening process, please visit www.genesynthesisconsortium.org.
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