Code of Conduct for Best Practices in Gene Synthesis

On November 03, in collaboration with a panel of stakeholders, IASB finalized the Code of Conduct for Best Practices in Gene Synthesis. This event is a breakthrough in self-regulation in Synthetic Biology, as for the first time a comprehensive set of Best Practices for DNA sequence screening, customer screening and ethical, safe and secure conduct in gene synthesis has been adopted by a diverse consortium of industry players.

The Code has been modelled after biosecurity procedures currently implemented by gene synthesis houses, based on a number of interviews and meetings conducted over the past one and a half years. It reflects actual practices, but at the same time aims at a high level of biosafety and biosecurity.

The Code has gathered support from the pharmaceutical industry already. Says Gary Burns, Global Biosafety Manager of AstraZeneca:

AstraZeneca is committed to working only with suppliers who embrace standards of ethical behaviour that are consistent with our own . Appropriate screening of ordered sequences and customers by gene synthesis companies is an important element in helping to reduce the risk of this technology being misused and this Code will help drive that requirement.

CRAIC Computing - who developed the industry standard screening software Blackwatch - supports the Code. Robert Jones of CRAIC Computing:

This code of conduct demonstrates the commitment of the gene synthesis industry to maintain the highest levels of biosafety and biosecurity.
Gene synthesis technology, like many others, has the potential to be misused. This can be minimized through careful monitoring within synthesis companies and through the education of researchers. By bringing together synthesis companies, regulatory agencies and other parties, IASB is helping to ensure that this important technology is used safely and responsibly.
[Click here to read the letter of support]

The Code can be downloaded here:

Code of Conduct for Best Practices in Synthetic Biology

 Current undersigned of the Code are:

If you are interested in learning more about the Code, or if you are interested in signing up to the Code, please Contact us - we would be pleased to hear from you.