MachineBio offers path toward single-step protein synthesis and purification

By Samantha Black, PhD, ScienceBoard editor in chief

September 13, 2021 -- The next featured company in the BioTools Innovator accelerator contest is MachineBio. The company has developed a protein synthesis platform that can produce pure protein from a DNA template in a single-step process that takes four hours. We spoke with David Marash, co-founder, CEO, and head of scientific operations for MachineBio, as part of our coverage of the competition.

MachineBio is focused on changing how proteins are produced and purified in bioprocessing. Marash and his team are in the developmental stages of creating a platform of standalone transmembrane synthesis reactors that can efficiently convert DNA to pure protein in only a few hours.

The platform comprises both the liquid, where cell-free reactions occur, and a special membrane. The company's proprietary membrane recognizes when a desired protein product is produced, and with an extremely high degree of selectivity, allows the product to pass through into collection fluid containing only pure protein.

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The idea for MachineBio came about when co-founders Marash and Alexander Hilbert attended the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA. Marash was studying bioprocess engineering, and Hilbert was studying biotech management. The pair had discussed starting a company throughout the duration of their graduate programs. When the pair was close to graduating, they decided to start MachineBio to tackle one of the biggest bottlenecks in the bioprocessing industry.

MachineBio is one of 10 semifinalists that have the chance to win $200,000 in cash prizes in the BioTools Innovator accelerator contest, with the list of semifinalists released in late July. All semifinalists are assigned a mentor and will complete a curated curriculum designed to help them secure additional funding and elevate their companies. The field will be narrowed to four companies in early October. The four finalists will present at a live finale on October 14, where the audience will help decide the winner.

Stay tuned and follow along as we get a behind-the-scenes look at these companies as they race toward the finish!

Note: The BioTools Innovator accelerator contest is sponsored by Research Corporation Technologies and BroadOak Capital Partners, investors in's parent company, Science and Medicine Group.

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