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Dallas-based Colossal Biosciences, the self-proclaimed desextinction company behind the woolly mammoth and thylacine, today announced that it is parting ways with Form Bio, as an independent software company offering a science computing platform for the life that bridges the gap between data and discovery.
Driven by deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, Form Bio offers life scientists a software platform to manage large datasets, run verified workflows, visualize results and collaborate with their peers. The platform brings these capabilities together into a cohesive unit with a user experience designed to simplify computing work and power life science breakthroughs in businesses, labs, and universities.
It is designed to be applied in an array of use cases including drug discovery, gene and cell therapy, manufacturing efficiency, academic research, and more. Form Bio enters the market with a $30 million Series A funding round led by JAZZ Venture Partners with participation from Colossal lead investor Thomas Tull.
“When you have a big scientific undertaking like species extinction, you not only need the smartest scientists in the world, you need powerful software, most of which just didn’t exist until now. “said Ben Lamm, co-founder of Colossal and CEO. “After reviewing everything on the market, we chose to create our own software solution. Now we want to share this platform with the wider community to impact other areas of scientific innovation, including human health.
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Form Bio was created almost in parallel with Colossal, the company that became famous for applying CRISPR technology for the purposes of species restoration, protection of critically endangered species and repopulation of critical ecosystems. that support the continuation of life on Earth. At the time, the Colossal team recognized the lack of necessary software capabilities in the market and the inadequacies of traditional bioinformatics processes to rapidly analyze huge volumes of data. More importantly, they noticed that the market lacked the tools the Colossal team itself needed for comparative genomics and computational biology.
Developed initially to advance de-extinction, Form Bio was a solution that had the potential to address the deluge of data while addressing the industry’s acute need for a simple, user-friendly platform to replace mountains of code, cumbersome data processing processes and underdeveloped tools. .
Colossal’s team of computational biologists, together with Church Lab’s team of scientists and more than 35 geneticists from Colossal’s laboratories in Boston and Dallas, worked to develop and refine the core platform capabilities of Form Bio for the wider market.
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“Computer-aided design, manufacturing, test analyzes and machine learning are essential for the future of bioengineering in general and in particular for the restoration of endangered and extinct genetic diversity for key species in vital ecosystems,” said Colossal co-founder George Church, a professor at Harvard Medical School. and MIT, and director of synthetic biology at the Wyss Institute in Boston. “Form Bio is the essential software to pave the way. As science engineers, we need these pipelines and look forward to faster breakthroughs in scientific discoveries and applications now that software has caught up with science.
The Form platform sits at the intersection of biology and discovery. It brings together the basic components of data management, workflows, results visualization and collaboration in a cohesive solution. Form includes an extensive catalog of verified workflows, covering a wide range of scientific use cases, from ancient DNA analysis and transcriptomics to AAV gene therapy.
The platform also serves as the foundation for advanced AI-based applications tailored to the needs of specific industries and academic fields. “Scientists like to tinker and do very bespoke things. The platform allows them to upload their own workflows or use the workflows that we have already developed and validated. So that gives them confidence that it’s something they can trust on release and if they bring in a different set of data in six months to get comparable results,” said Claire Aldridge, Ph.D. ., director of strategy at Form Bio.
With the launch of Form Bio, Kent Wakeford will transition from his day-to-day role as COO of Colossal to Co-CEO of Form Bio, where he will work alongside Co-CEO Andrew Busey and support Colossal’s CEO and Board in an executive special advisor role. Former Biolabs COO Adam Milne has also joined Colossal as its new COO.
“We have created an integrated platform that has been in development for 18 months. It allows users to take an idea and put it into production in a more efficient and cost-effective way. By adopting a more open and transparent approach, the platform can use different toolsets, export data in any way it chooses, perform computational analysis with our machine learning and AI models, and share information with peers or other journals. In a nutshell, we aspire to be like the GitHub for science,” Wakeford told VentureBeat.
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