How synthetic biology could change therapeutics

Life sciences is, frankly, an awe-inspiring space. Enter something that can sustainably and ethically engineer and redesign biological systems that don’t yet exist in nature: synthetic biology. Synthetic biology can enable the biosynthesis of drugs that are too complicated and expensive to produce with chemical engineering or drugs that rely on rare plants. There is, thus, enormous scope for the biotech industry to apply this to a range of therapeutic applications. Let’s explore more.

Synthetic biology will reshape our relationship with nature via bio-based products

As climate change threatens human life on Earth, people are reconsidering their relationship with the living world. Synthesis is a powerful approach to learning about and building in step with natural processes. 

In a briefing paper, the World Economic Forum noted that synthetic biology uses science and engineering expertise to design biologically-based parts, novel devices and systems, and redesign existing, natural, biological systems. 

The paper says that the broadest impact area is manufacturing bio-based products and the numerous applications of these products in health and well-being. It doesn’t end there – entrepreneurs are looking at opportunities in the food and feed, industrial chemicals and biofuel industries. 

Synthetic biology will drastically improve healthcare

Synthetic biology has tremendous potential to improve healthcare. Related devices can provide diagnostic tools and enable the design of novel strategies for treating cancer, immune diseases, metabolic disorders,  and infectious diseases, as well as the production of cheap drugs. It presents a significant opportunity for biotech entrepreneurs to develop new treatments and therapies that can improve patient outcomes. 

Synthetic biology is good for the environment

Synthetic biology enables circular manufacturing processes, transforming waste materials into valuable products. Using synthetic biology techniques, biotech entrepreneurs can develop innovative ways to convert carbon-rich waste materials into valuable products. This reduces the need for new raw materials. 

Synthetic biology can be used to improve drug discovery

Synthetic biology improves drug discovery by reorienting all steps of the drug discovery process, speeding up drug target discovery, enabling biosynthesis of drugs, and using synthetic gene circuits for drug target functional screening. Here’s how: 

Target discovery

It can speed up drug target discovery by using genetically-engineered cells to control the localization, timing, and dosage of therapeutic activities in response to specific disease biomarkers. Biotech entrepreneurs can therefore develop new tools and methods for studying disease mechanisms at a molecular level.


Synthetic biology can enable the biosynthesis of drugs that are too complicated and expensive to produce with chemical engineering or drugs that rely on rare, sometimes endangered plants. Biotech entrepreneurs could develop new methods for synthesizing lead compounds and drugs to treat diseases. 

Phenotypic screening

An exciting component of this novel process is that it can be used for drug target functional screening. It uses screening by using synthetic gene circuits capable of biological sensing and computation of signals derived from intracellular or extracellular biomarkers. By using synthetic biology techniques, biotech entrepreneurs can develop new methods for identifying drug targets and designing new treatment strategies for diseases. 

Synthetic biology strategies are investment ready

They are a rapidly emerging interdisciplinary research field built on the foundations of molecular biology and genetic engineering. We’re at a critical juncture.

This is where Similari adds value

Similari can equip you with the tools to take informed risks in the ever-growing field of synthetic biology. Similari’s deep data points meaningfully inform your R&D decision-making. Get in touch for a demo today to find out how Similari can help you identify true white spaces in the synthetic biology landscape.