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Twist Bioscience

Twist Bioscience

Twist Bioscience is a DNA synthesis company using a next-generation silicon-based technology platform.


Twist Bioscience was founded in 2013 by Emily Leproust to commercialize a high-throughput semiconductor-based DNA synthesis technology. The company supplies DNA for research and commercial applications of genetic engineering and is developing additional markets for applications including digital data storage and DNA origami-based biomaterials and nanostructures.

Twist Bioscience can achieve 1,000x improvements in DNA production density by scaling down from the traditional 96-well plate to tiny micro-wells and channels on a silicon chip of the same area. Throughput is greatly increased because semiconductor-based technology allows the chemical reactions necessary for DNA synthesis to be scaled down by a factor of 1,000,000. Twist Bioscience is able to produce 9,600 genes on a single silicon chip using its technology, compared to 1 gene being produced on the same amount of space using traditional DNA synthesis technologies.

In the video below, the CEO of Twist Bioscience, Emily Leproust, explains the innovations in DNA synthesis technology.

Applications of Synthetic DNA


Chemical Production

Reduces the cost of introducing new genes into microorganisms that produce chemicals

Crop Optimization

Improves the throughput and reduces the cost of genetically engineering crops

Drug Discovery

Enables more rapid, cheaper protein engineering for drug discovery

Functional Genomics

Lowers the cost of identifying disease gene targets

Genome Editing

Reduces the cost and increases the efficiency of CRISPR technology

Twist Bioscience is providing DNA synthesis to Inovio Pharmaceuticals for its research developing a vaccine against the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, renamed SARS-CoV-2, with the disease called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease).

Products and services

Twist Bioscience offers a variety of DNA synthesis products and services that are summarized below.

Clonal genes​

Clonal genes are next-generation sequencing (NGS) verified gene clones with no type II S restriction sequences and custom vector onboarding with verification. There is currently a lower limit of ten genes (no upper limit ) to place an order that will be ready within twenty business days.

Clonal gene details

Product details

Custom cloning


Minimum order

10 genes




0.3-3.2 kb

Turnaround time

20 business days

Combinatorial libraries

Using ​combinatorial libraries for focused mutagenesis offers more flexibility and better representation than degenerate approaches. Specific codons may be excluded, codon ratio can be controlled, and all libraries are NGS verified.

Combinational libraries details

Product details

Delivery and yield

Single tube, 1 ug total



Product format

Linear double-stranded DNA

Turnaround time

4-6 weeks, project dependent

DNA digital data storage

DNA is being developed as a storage medium for digital data. Twist Bioscience is working with Microsoft and the University of Washington to improve data storage using DNA and has published research demonstrating high-fidelity storage and random-access retrieval of over 200 MB of data, including an OK Go music video. As the technology matures, DNA could offer a high-density, low-energy, long-term, and secure digital data storage solution.

Gene fragments​

Gene fragments are non-clonal and can be used for several downstream cloning methods for assembly into bigger genes or pathways. The error rate on gene fragment production is approximately 1:3000 base pairs.

Gene fragment details

Product details

Max size


Minimum order

10 genes



Turnaround time

7-10 business days



Oligo pools​

Oligo pools are made to be diverse collections of oligonucleotides and can be used for applications such as the creation of CRISPR sgRNA libraries high-throughput reporter essays. Oligo pools are designed to be highly uniform and accurate for maximal oligo representation and have an error rate of approximately 1:1000 nucleotides (nt).

Oligo pool information

Product details

Minimum order


Oligo length

Up to 200 nt

Oligo pool size

2,000 to 1,000,000 oligos



Turn around time

10 days

Site saturation libraries​

Site saturation libraries are precise and diverse when compared to traditional directed mutagenesis techniques. Each saturation library is verified using NGS technology. They come free from unwanted codons and can be made to have specific codon ratios.

Site saturation libraries details

Product details

Delivery and yield

Single tube, 1-2ug total. 96 plate well, 1/2 positions per well of 50 ng each. 384 well plate, 1/2 positions per well of 50 ng each.

Minimum order

48 variants



Product format

Linear double-stranded DNA

Turnaround time

3-4 weeks, project dependent

Twist human core exome kit​

The Twist human core exome kit is a DNA probe target enrichment kit. It comes with modular high-performance DNA probes designed to uniformly and accurately capture sequence depth. The modular kit is simple to integrate into existing lab protocols due to its many customization options.

Alternatives and lawsuits

The turnaround time for orders is still relatively long compared to other lab-based methods, especially for smaller amounts of DNA. Therefore, in certain instances, it is more reasonable for researchers and companies to utilize traditional cloning methods depending on the genes needed for experiments. Slow turnaround time for smaller orders is the primary reason Ginkgo Bioworks acquired Gen9, which brought that function in-house.

In 2016, Agilent filed a lawsuit against Twist Bioscience, alleging Emily Leproust, a former Agilent employee, stole trade secrets developed by the company to start the DNA synthesis startup.

Government grants/awards

On May 27, 2014, Twist Bioscience received $5.1 million dollars in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The contract was awarded to Twist Bioscience under DARPA's Living Foundries program.

Series A

On Feb 10, 2014, Twist Bioscience received $9,100,000 in series A funding from Asset Management Ventures (AMV).

Series B

On May 27, 2014, Twist Bioscience completed a $26,000,000 series B funding round. Investors included DARPA, ARCH Venture Partners, Paladin Capital Group, Yuri Milner, and some undisclosed investors.

Series C

On June 10, 2015, Twist Bioscience closed a $37,000,000 series C funding round. Investors include Foresite Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Paladin Capital Group, Venture Investors, Fidelity Management & Research, Illumina, Joby Pritzker, and Yuri Milner.

Series D

On March 27, 2017, Twist Bioscience closed a $61,000,000 series D funding round. Investors include Foresite Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Paladin Capital Group, Fidelity Management & Research, Illumina, Boris Nikolic, Cormorant Asset Management, WuXi Healthcare Ventures, Yuri Milner, Mérieux Développement, ARCH Overage Fund, Nick Pritzker, and Joby Pritzker.

Series E

On June 14, 2017, Twist Bioscience closed a $27,000,000 series E funding round. Investors included Biomatics Capital, Reinet Fund S.C.A, F.I.S, NFT Investment Limited, KangMei Group, Bay City Capital, GF Xinde Life Science Investment Fund, 3W Partners Capital, and Ditch Plains Capital Management.

Private placement

On April 3, 2018, Twist Bioscience received $50,000,000 in funding from private investors.

Desktop genetics

In June 2016, Twist Bioscience became partners with Desktop Genetics, a company using AI to create CRISPR screens. The partnership focuses on developing and integrating DNA synthesis tools to design research protocols that enhance gene editing research. Desktop Genetics works with its customers to design CRISPR sgRNA libraries for a cell line before sending this information to Twist Bioscience for sgRNA library synthesis. This partnership aims to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of gene editing research.

BioBricks Foundation

In June 2017, the BioBricks foundation partnered up with Twist Bioscience on the Free Genes project, an initiative to create an open-source library of 10,000 genes that form biological parts important for synthetic biology. Twist Bioscience will be providing all the DNA that will be used for the project and BioBricks will assemble a library of useful genes using its team and drawing on support from the scientific community. All genetic constructs created through this partnership will be made freely available to the public through the Open Material Transfer Agreement, which allows any recipient to use, modify, combine, copy, and redistribute the genes (in compliance with applicable biosafety and intellectual property laws).

Quintara Biosciences

In July 2017, Quintara Bioscience and Twist Bioscience became business partners, announcing it would be working together to create qBlock Gene Fragment and qGene DNA cloning services. Twist Bioscience combines its silicon DNA synthesis technology with Quintara Bioscience's sequencing and cloning technologies to deliver gene fragment and cloning services.

Synbio Technologies

Twist Bioscience and Synbio Technologies became partners on July 11, 2017. The partnership seeks to combine technologies being used at both companies, by offering DNA strands up to 70 kilobases in length. Twist Bioscience will synthesize DNA strands up to 3.2 kilobases in length before shipping them off to Synbio Technologies for completion. This partnership gives both companies more international presence: Twist Bioscience is located in San Francisco, and Synbio Technologies is in China, so by working together, they plan to be able to offer improved DNA strand products that enhance scientific research for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Company Patents

Patent Description
App/pub number

William Banyai, Bill James Peck, Andres Fernandez, Siyuan Chen, Pierre Indermuhle, Cheng-Hsien Wu, Esteban Toro




Cheng-Hsien Wu




Esteban Toro, Sebastian Treusch, Siyuan Chen, Cheng-Hsien Wu




William Banyai, Bill James Peck, Andres Fernandez, Siyuan CHEN, Pierre Indermuhle




William Banyai, Bill James Peck, Andres Fernandez, Siyuan Chen, Pierre Indermuhle, Eugene P. Marsh




Genome Compiler

On April 6th, 2016, Twist Bioscience acquired the Israeli software company Genome Compiler for an undisclosed price. Twist plans to use Genome Compiler's software developers and technology to build an e-commerce platform that allows customers to create their own gene designs online before ordering and to leverage its strong software development team for future projects.


According to BCC Research, the overall market for synthetic biology products was expected to grow from $4.4 billion in 2017 to over $13.9 billion by 2022.

Twist serves 600 customers across the three areas of the synthetic biology market in a broad range of industries. Revenue was $20.5 million for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2018, and revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2018, the company's fiscal year-end, is estimated to be between $8.0 million and $8.3 million. Ginkgo Bioworks is Twist Bioscience's largest customer, accounting for 32% of revenue.


August 16, 2022
Twist Bioscience Q3 sales jump 60 percent and raises FY22 revenue outlook surpassing consensus.
August 16, 2022
Twist Bioscience inks an antibody discovery pact with MediSix Therapeutics.
August 16, 2022
Twist Bioscience and Ginkgo Bioworks sign a new Collaboration.
August 16, 2022
Twist Bioscience launches monkeypox virus synthetic DNA controls.
August 16, 2022
Centogene and Twist Bioscience team up to develop rare disease tests.
August 16, 2022
Twist's COVID-19 test, which can detect variants, gets authorized.
May 25, 2021
Twist Bioscience launches Enzymatic Fragmentation Library Preparation Kit for high uniformity, high-yield amplification, streamlined next generation sequencing workflow for targeted applications.
February 25, 2020
Twist Bioscience announces that it has initiated a collaboration with digital microfluidics developer Miroculus.
April 4, 2018
Twist Bioscience receives $50,000,000 in funding from private investors.
April 2, 2018
Twist Bioscience raises a $50,000,000 venture round.

Funding Rounds



Further Resources


Could Synthetic DNA Be the Next Tech Breakthrough?

Jennifer Alsever

Custom CRISPR Screening Libraries WEBINAR

November 22, 2017

Emily Leproust Making DNA from Scratch​

August 2nd, 2017


Alexandra Ames
August 17, 2021
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Joel Khalili
June 28, 2021
TechRadar India
DNA has all the necessary attributes to solve the looming data crisis.
Dovetail Genomics LLC
June 16, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- Dovetail Genomics, the industry leader in advanced proximity ligation genomic solutions, today announced availability of its new line of...
Conor Hale
June 14, 2021
Twist Bioscience teamed up with Regeneron to deliver a sequencing test that can track genetic differences among global populations, for a better understanding of how diseases among different ethnicities.
Andrea Park
May 27, 2021
The series D will support further development of GenapSys' sequencing technology, which aims to offer a less expensive, more accessible alternative to other next-generation sequencing platforms.


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