Leveraging Synthetic Biology for Resilient Pharma Supply Chains and Accessible Medicines
Antheia's Associate Member Spotlight was originally published on the Association for Accessible Medicines blog, which can be found here
Antheia was founded in 2015 by Dr. Christina Smolke, CEO and Dr. Kristy Hawkins, CSO and is based in Menlo Park, California. Antheia’s co-founders are pioneers in the fields of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering and are applying these technologies to transform pharmaceutical supply chains in order to better support the needs of 21st century healthcare.
Traditionally, small molecule drugs are either directly sourced from plants or other organisms in a years-long agricultural process or they are produced through chemical synthesis, an approach that isn’t viable for the most complex molecules. Antheia’s synthetic biology platform can reconstruct biosynthetic pathways of unprecedented complexity in yeast cells. Using these engineered yeast cells, Antheia converts sugars into complex pharmaceutical molecules. This approach dramatically expands the variety of compounds that can be produced through fermentation and offers a more efficient manufacturing model that cuts timelines from years to weeks and significantly reduces costs.
Antheia’s biomanufacturing platform enables efficient, reliable, and at-scale commercial manufacturing for key starting materials (KSMs) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used in essential medicines. Antheia’s pipeline of more than 70 KSMs and APIs covers seven key therapeutic categories and is closely aligned with the FDA’s Essential Medicine List and drugs that are frequently in shortage.
Antheia became an Associate Member of AAM in 2022. As an earlier-stage company, with a rapidly growing footprint, our AAM membership offers access to key industry insights and trends, and a unique opportunity to engage with the pharma community, said Dr. Christina Smolke, co-founder and CEO of Antheia. In 2021, AAM released an in-depth blueprint for building more resilient pharmaceutical supply chains in the U.S. – this analysis continues to serve as a valuable resource as we build our own domestic manufacturing processes for essential medicines.
Guided by a mission to transform pharmaceutical supply chains and end drug shortages, Antheia strives to build a more effective way to manufacture critical drugs and provide more equitable access to essential medicines around the world. Antheia envisions a world where patient care and health equity are never jeopardized by global supply chain vulnerabilities, and efficient and effective biomanufacturing is an anchor of responsive, reliable pharmaceutical solutions.
Written by Jewel Smith, AAM Vice President, Membership and Operations, originally published on May 12, 2023