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Comments (19)

wantedtoretireearly profile picture
Thanks for the really serious work that went into researching and writing this article. I noticed that Gingko and Twist just announced another joint partnership. I will follow this company as I am interested in this space. Currently long AMRS and DNA.
bluescorpion0 profile picture
when will they stop losing over 100 million dollars a year!???
I believe they are also getting into enzymatic sequencing. Tbh, based on my research, enzymes are low value commodities - even if engineered. I have seen companies making these for years and decades and making a few million bucks. The chinese are in on it and so is everyone else. If anything, the value added services from these enzymatic sequencing such as libraries for sequencing, making genes, and helping to discover cancer antibodies seem more lucrative but they have to stop losing money!
CR144 Research profile picture
-42% since publication. It didn't age well.
My main concern is: DNA Script could make Twist solution obsolete. They have better technology.
at what sp is it a strong buy
So much great content and research here thoughtfully presented.
I've heard TWST is essentially the API for biotechs where it makes it easier for founder/dev Biotechs to be created. If that is the case this company could be worth 100s of billions of dollars in the next 10 years
Joseph Iwasyk profile picture
Did a project researching the implications of DNA-based data storage and how it could fit into the data-center model. I would say that one thing to recognize is it will likely start in the "cold data" technology space. The cold-data is data that is less frequently accessed than "hot data" and usually needed only once every couple of months or even years. Think of it as the ultimate permanent backup. Good blog post here explaining: www.backblaze.com/...

I think DNA-data storage will ultimately fit beautifully as the perfect solution for cold-data storage. It will be quite difficult to quickly access data stored in DNA, but for longer term storage it is perfect. The competing technology seems to mainly be magnetic rolled tapes, which do have a limited lifespan and take up much much more space than DNA.

Also an application I have dreamed of is sending all of humanity's data to space with DNA (because every pound you have to send to space is expensive from a fuel perspective). DNA would be very efficient in case we had the need to bring many volumes of data to Mars / the Moon / etc. Joseph Iwasyk
bluescorpion0 profile picture
@Joe Iwasyk dna data storage sounds a bit like blockchain data storage. Perhaps the two have some parallel threads.
Joseph Iwasyk profile picture
@scorpion.north I could certainly see some overlap. Will have to watch the space and see
Aricool profile picture
@Joseph Iwasyk , from what I know, high cosmic radiation levels + DNA = bad results.... sounds like lots of fluff and hype to me, to raise lots of sucker/hot money.
@Richard Durant - Thanks for the extensive analysis!
What are your thoughts on Ginkgo (DNA)?
@Richard Durant thanks for such an informative and in depth report. We are long TWST since the spring. In your exposition of synbio customers I was interested that you made no mention of Amyris who are well ahead of Ginkgo and Zymergen in industrialising synbio processes. I recall Amyris CEO John Melo in a recent presentation singling out Twist for special mention as they had become such an important supplier. Have you any thoughts to add on this relationship?
Very interesting analysis! When do you think they might achieve the $500 revenue annually - I did not saw any time frame.
bluescorpion0 profile picture
"This is because once a sequence is finalized and embedded within a production organism, the sequence can be copied by the organism, eliminating the need for further synthetic DNA."

This sounds like a living cellular factory. How will this impact Twist's manufacturing business?

What is the best method for DNA data storage - enzymatic or chemical synthesis?

Also would NGS sequencing companies get in on synthesis since they are also reading? I think Illumina has the Oligator platform but i just saw PR from 2004...what happened to that?

Another thing to discuss is RNA vs DNA synthesis. There are other companies like Maravai which are doing RNA synthesis. Not sure if Twist can or does this too. Maravai actually makes 360m of free cash flow per year while Twist cannot make a penny, why is that?
Joseph Iwasyk profile picture
@scorpion.north Another interesting consideration is using bacteria as factories (rather than chemistry) to produce DNA oligonucleotides - I read an article where researchers employ bacteria to make mg-scale amounts of "DNA origami" using ssDNA oligos as a building block. They achieved mg amounts of the synthetic DNA structures and I imagine this concept could be transferred to making oligos for data storage.. read here if interested www.nature.com/...
Now and then one finds a standout article like this one. Thanks Richard for making this complex industry (somewhat) understandable!
TechGuy profile picture
That's a very thorough and useful analysis Richard. Thank you for sharing your work.
Thank you for a well written article and I appreciate the quality and depth of information you provided.

I am just beginning my due diligence on Twist, and Ginkgo Bioworks, and plan on making an initial investment in this specific sector so this is extremely helpful!
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