SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2021.
The list honors the businesses that have not only found a way to be resilient in the past year, but also those who have turned challenges into impact-making processes. These companies did more than survive - they thrived, making an impact on their industries and the culture as a whole. This year’s MIC list features 463 businesses from 29 countries.
“2020 will go down in history as one of the years where everything changed. The impact of COVID-19 impacted every aspect of our lives. Being on the front lines of scientific research, we felt it was our duty to help in any way we could. And the team at Twist selflessly more than delivered,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. “I’m so proud that the tireless drive to develop new tools for scientists around the world to help identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus and increase the ability to monitoring and diagnose its spread has been recognized by the editors at Fast Company. In addition, I want to thank the Twist teams that continue to work tirelessly to help us all through this pandemic.”
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“In a year of unprecedented challenges, the companies on this list exhibit fearlessness, ingenuity, and creativity in the face of crisis,” said Fast Company Deputy Editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with Senior Editor Amy Farley.
To coincide with the issue launch, Fast Company will host its first-ever Most Innovative Companies Summit on March 9 and 10. This virtual, multiday summit will celebrate the Most Innovative Companies in business, provide an early look at major business trends, and offer the inspiration and practical insights on what it takes to innovate in 2021.
Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2021) is now available online here, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 16, 2021. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.
Twist Bioscience’s Work in COVID-19
As SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus, Twist needed to implement an innovative approach to quickly modify existing DNA-based workflows to build a suite of tools to help infectious disease researchers around the world to fight COVID-19. The first product line developed by Twist was synthetic RNA controls, which serve as the baseline for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. These controls allow institutions to develop, equilibrate and test their diagnostic test, comparing the result against what a positive case would be. Because these are synthetic controls and not live virus samples, researchers do not need to be in a rare biosecurity level 3 (BSL3) lab to conduct experiments or develop tests. These controls, initially for two strains of SARS-CoV-2, are now offered for 16 different strains, covering all known sequences. In addition, they are listed as reference material on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website and have been incorporated into diagnostic tests by a large number of test developers.
Building from the controls, Twist developed the SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, for the detection of the virus, but more importantly this panel provides the full sequence information of the SARS-CoV-2 strain. As a virus moves through different populations, it changes. These changes, or mutations, can cause the virus to become more or less virulent, more or less transmissible and more or less deadly. By identifying the specific genetic code (sequence) of the virus in specific patients with COVID-19, it is possible to track the strain origin, the changes that are happening within the viral sequence, and to monitor outbreaks. These data help authorities prepare for future outbreaks and informs public health decisions about sheltering, reopening, and risk levels among different populations (e.g. school age, over 70).
Twist thought ahead and introduced the Respiratory Virus Panel, a full respiratory panel that detects a wide range of respiratory diseases. This includes SARS-CoV-2, but also MERS, SARS, other coronaviruses, several influenzas, pneumonias, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and other respiratory viruses. All of these respiratory illnesses have the ability to produce the same symptoms – cough, runny nose, congestion and labored breathing. By having one assay (as opposed to one for each disease, each of which requires its own sample from the body) to detect all of these different respiratory diseases, a researcher is able to differentiate and, along with other tools, a clinician is able to definitively diagnose and treat the disease at hand rather than making a guess from the underlying symptoms. Twist has now introduced 16 synthetic RNA controls for such respiratory viruses in anticipation of institutions who will want to create point of care and rapid diagnostic tests in the future.
Concurrently, Twist identified 32 potent therapeutic antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and 48 antibodies that bind to ACE2, the external receptor on human cells where SARS-CoV-2 binds to gain entry and begin replication. Several of these antibodies have been tested in live virus samples and have been found to neutralize the virus as well as prevent weight loss in preclinical models of COVID-19.
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.
About Twist Bioscience Corporation
Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by “writing” DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Bioscience’s patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Bioscience’s proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business in general, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors set forth in Twist Bioscience’s Quarterly Report Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 9, 2021 and subsequent filings with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.