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The 40th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference has started. This year it is once again taking place online. Despite this, the start of the conference was lively. Twist Bioscience CEO Emily Leproust presented a new chemistry for enzymatic DNA synthesis developed by company researchers. The new chemistry significantly reduces the amount of nucleotide triphosphate compared with existing methods. This reduces cost and makes production more sustainable. In addition, the technology leaves no "scars," and the resulting DNA is interchangeable with natural DNA. According to Leproust, previous enzymatic synthesis methods were more error-prone, yielded shorter oligos and were more expensive. Errors were made at a rate of 1 in 400 bp versus 1 in 2,000 bp for chemical synthesis. The oligos were shorter than 100 bp versus 300 bp and cost $50 per oligonucleotide versus $0.03. Emily Leproust believes the new enzymatic synthesis method could be useful for data storage, which would translate into a new product line. For its part, however, the company did not provide data on error rates, olig length or cost of the new enzymatic method. Twist will continue to use existing phosphoramidite chemistry while the new method is optimized. According to the company itself, enzymatic synthesis is critical, for data storage in DNA, creating primers and probes for PCR, cell-free plasmid DNA production, quantitative PCR and many other applications. The company looks forward to expanding its market by offering these applications both directly through its channels and through equipment fabrication contracts. Leproust notes that the base for growth in the bark business has been laid, and 2022 will be the year of monetization for biopharma. The company reiterated its revenue forecast for fiscal 2022 - it should be $183 million to $193 million. Biopharmaceutical spinoff Twist, a Revelar Biotherapeutics company, will bring its first candidate therapeutic antibody to the clinic in the first half of 2022. Revelar has licensed the antibody to treat COVID-19 with funding from Twist for up to $10 versus up to $100 in the interim and an average single-digit million royalty. Emily Leproust also highlighted partnerships with Pacific Biosciences and Singular Genomics aimed at customizing sequencing target enrichment processes and library preparation for those companies' platforms. Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard began by reiterating that "COVID is relevant to them, but they are not dependent on it," as they have been for the past two years. Currently, 88% of the company's regular revenue comes from consumables and related services, and 12% comes from capital sales and equipment installations. The company's interests include life science and molecular biology; the target market is estimated at $6 billion. Actual revenue figures were not disclosed, but Bernard said revenue for 2021 exceeded $2 billion. The company expects revenue from QIAstat to reach $60 million and from NeuMoDx to reach $100 million. The company has launched more than ten new diagnostic tests and three new devices in 2021. The boring pandemic has allowed it to expand its customer base. In 2021, Qiagen launched and improved the EZ2 Connect sample preparation instrument and developed the next generation of the QIASymphony system, the QIASymphony Boost. The upgrade was primarily driven by the needs of laboratories working with high-volume liquid biopsies. According to Bernard, QIAstat will never overtake BioFire Diagnostics and their FilmArray platform, but it will compete for second place in the market. He explained what tests QIAstat is developing by 2022. These are tests for gastrointestinal infections, meningitis/encephalitis, and a panel to identify cultured blood pathogens. Tests for urinary tract infections and pathogens causing pneumonia are also in development. The next step is the high throughput QIAstat-Dx Rise system, which Qiagen intends to submit to the FDA for approval this year. This system can process 18 samples, 56 tests in an eight-hour period, 160 tests per day with automatic cartridge loading and unloading. The company estimates it will deliver more than 500 systems a year after the QIAcuity digital PCR instrument is released. Forty of the 52 U.S. public health laboratories investigating wastewater epidemiology have Qiagen instruments. Now the company needs to focus on noninvasive prenatal diagnostics and pooled DNA and protein analysis. According to Bernard, in the next phase of the pandemic, the focus will shift from diagnostics to surveillance, variant monitoring and wastewater testing.