A new paradigm for protein engineering 

Workcell with a microfluidic chip testing thousands of AI-designed proteins

Adaptyv Bio, a Swiss/US technology company that develops infrastructure and tools for protein designers to engineer better proteins, has built a protein engineering foundry that it says will “pave the way” for protein designers to develop new medicines, novel enzymes and sustainable materials.

AI tools like ChatGPT are revolutionising how the world generates text, images and code, a topic recently covered by DDW. In a similar way, machine learning algorithms and generative AI are upending traditional processes in life sciences and collapsing time frames in drug discovery and materials development.  

In recent years, a plethora of other AI tools have emerged and, as AI makes rapid progress, translating computational designs into physical, functioning proteins remains challenging. Adaptyv Bio has set out to address this by combining advanced robotics, microfluidics and synthetic biology techniques to build a platform to allow protein engineers to validate their AI-generated protein designs. 

Julian Englert, CEO and co-founder of Adaptyv Bio, said: “Proteins are at the core of the biorevolution, whether in the form of new medicines, better enzymes for research and industrial applications or as materials with novel properties. “As a protein designer you now have access to incredible new AI tools such as AlphaFold or RFDiffusion, but validating your protein designs in the lab to see if they work remains a huge pain. Imagine every time you used Github Copilot to generate some code you had to wait 10 weeks for it to execute or to tell you that it had a bug. And imagine each execution costs $1000. That’s pretty much the situation for protein designers today.”

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