Synthetic Genomics Launches Vmax™ Express, a Next-Generation Protein Expression Platform for the Biotech Industry

San Diego, CA — January 9, 2017 — Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, SGI-DNA, has launched Vmax™ Express, a highly advanced bacterial host organism designed for significant improvement in recombinant protein expression. Compatible with standard plasmids, antibiotics and growth media used in other bacterial protein expression systems, Vmax™ Express generates larger amounts of soluble recombinant proteins faster and more efficiently than E. coli-based systems.

E. coli host organisms have been tweaked for incremental refinement for decades, but the development and commercialization of Vmax™ Express marks a dramatic step forward,” said Daniel Gibson, Ph.D., vice president of DNA technologies at Synthetic Genomics. “Our team of scientists began with a clean slate — unconstrained by the inherent limitations of E. coli — and designed a novel, advanced, fast-growing host organism that will translate into next-generation protein production in the research as well as biopharma and industrial biotechnology production settings.”

E. coli is the most widely-used organism in molecular genetic research and accounts for the production of 30 percent of FDA-approved biologic drugs. Vmax™ Express can replace slow-growing E. coli systems, which are prone to low yields and the expression of insoluble protein. Vmax™ Express offers several advantages over E. coli including:

  • higher levels of protein expression (Vmax™ Express delivers at least double the amount of protein per milliliter);
  • increased speed (approximate two-fold improvement in replication time);
  • increased compatibility with a range of proteins that may be difficult to express in E. coli; and
  • rapid results: protein purification in three days (one full day faster than E. coli, from cells to large-scale culture).

Vmax™ Express is derived from the marine microorganism Vibrio natriegens, a gram-negative, non-pathogenic bacterium that exhibits the fastest growth rate of any known organism. Vmax™ Express is available in a ready-to-use electrocompetent format and is compatible with a range of protein expression vectors including pET-derived vectors that use phage T7 expression system. Additional product information is available at

Vmax™ Express will be featured in a presentation entitled, “Vmax™ – a Next-generation Microbial Workhorse for the Biotech Industry,” at PepTalk: The Protein Science Week in San Diego at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

A peer-reviewed paper describing this work was published in August 2016 in Nature Methods by Matthew T. Weinstock, Eric D. Hesek, Christopher M. Wilson, and Daniel G. Gibson.

Vmax™ Express is for research use only, and is not intended for diagnostic uses. It is also available for commercial license. For more information, contact