TeselaGen is a company that has developed an AI-powered platform that radically accelerates product development of therapeutics, high-value chemicals, and agricultural products. Pulse 2.0 interviewed TeselaGen Biotechnology CEO and founder Eduardo Abeliuk to learn more.
Eduardo Abeliuk’s Background
Eduardo Abeliuk has always been deeply passionate about science and technology. And he studied Physics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Chile. Abeliuk said:
“Afterwards, I pursued a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford and focused my research on computational and molecular biology. It was during this period that we recognized the gap between the power of synthetic biology and the tools available to harness it. I was fascinated by the potential of synthetic biology and its applications in various sectors of the economy, including healthcare, agriculture, and energy. This led to the creation of TeselaGen where I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a talented team of scientists and engineers that is committed to revolutionizing the way we design, build, test, and optimize biological products and processes.”
Formation Of TeselaGen Biotechnology
How did the idea for the company come together? Abeliuk shared:
“The idea for TeselaGen emerged from a combination of my personal experience at Stanford and the experiences of my co-founders, including co-founder Nathan Hillson’s experience building complex combinatorial DNA libraries at the Berkeley Lab, and the glaring need in the industry for better solutions. During our time at Stanford and Berkeley, we frequently encountered challenges in efficiently designing and building DNA sequences. It became evident that while the promise of synthetic biology was vast, the tools available were not keeping pace with the innovation and potential applications.”
“We began speaking with other industry leaders and realized that this gap was not just our personal experience but a broader industry-wide challenge. We believed that by leveraging cutting-edge software, we could accelerate synthetic biology research and bring more predictability to the design-build-test-learn cycle. The name “TeselaGen” itself reflects our mission: drawing inspiration from the word “tesela” which signifies a small unit of a mosaic, we envision each genetic component as a piece of a larger puzzle, coming together seamlessly through our platform.”
What has been your favorite memory working for the company so far? Abeliuk reflected:
“Some of my most cherished memories at TeselaGen have been the privilege of visiting some of the most cutting-edge tech companies in the world. Walking through their facilities, you can almost feel the buzz of innovation in the air, a palpable sense of the future being forged. Each company visit offered a unique glimpse into a world of relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. The people I met have been truly inspiring.”
“These interactions were a testament to the passion and dedication that drives scientific advancement. It’s incredible to think about the collective brainpower in these spaces, all working towards the next big thing that might just revolutionize our world. Each visit was a reminder of the immense potential that collaboration holds. Seeing firsthand the advancements these companies are making reinforced the importance of our mission at TeselaGen. It emphasized the value of partnerships, of learning from one another, and of collectively pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
What are the company’s core products and features? Abeliuk explained:
“TeselaGen’s software platform focuses on accelerating biological Research & Development. Our core offerings can be broadly categorized into the following core products and features:
1.) Design Suite – Tools allow researchers to efficiently design DNA sequences optimized for cost-effective manufacturability. Features include tools to design and assemble complex combinatorial DNA and protein libraries, manage large libraries of sequences and parts, automated sequence annotation and validation, and integrations with third-party databases and software tools.
2.) Lab Information Management – Tools to automate and streamline the process of constructing DNA sequences and performing molecular and cellular biology experiments. This includes lab inventory management, workflow automation, tools to interface with lab automation equipment, and to increase the efficiency of the build process.
3.) Test and Discover Suite – Data management solutions where researchers can easily parse, organize, and analyze their experimental results and use results to train predictive and evolutive algorithms.
4.) Security features – Ensuring the safety and integrity of scientific data is paramount. We’ve embedded robust security protocols and compliance features to ensure that our users can trust the platform with their most sensitive and valuable information.
Evolution Of TeselaGen’s Technology
How has the company’s technology evolved since launching? Abeliuk noted:
“Since TeselaGen’s inception, our technology has undergone significant transformations, keeping pace with both the advancements in the industry and the needs of our users.”
“Our earliest version focused primarily on DNA sequence assembly design. The primary goal was to simplify and automate the process of generating DNA assembly instructions for modern DNA assembly protocols. Then we added basic lab management tools to execute molecular biology workflows. Recognizing the diverse range of equipment used in labs, we expanded our platform to allow integration with popular lab instruments, in particular with liquid handling robots. This helped in automating the build phase of the design-build-test cycle. With the increasing complexity of synthetic biology experiments, we introduced advanced data management and analytics tools, including the implementation of advanced machine learning algorithms. This allowed researchers to gain deeper insights from their experimental results, optimizing subsequent designs based on past outcomes.”
“As collaborative research projects became more prevalent, we incorporated features that enabled teams to share designs, data, and insights more efficiently, fostering a holistic research environment. Based on continuous feedback from our user community, we’ve made several iterations to our user interface and experience, ensuring that the platform remains easy to use, even as it becomes more powerful. Finally, with growing concerns about data privacy and security, we’ve continually strengthened our security protocols, ensuring compliance with global data protection standards.”
Have you faced any specific bottlenecks in your sector of work recently? Abeliuk acknowledged:
“Like any evolving industry, the biological design automation sector faces a number of challenges. Here are a few bottlenecks we’ve encountered recently: 1) Rapid Technological Advancements: The pace of innovation in synthetic biology is high. As new biological innovations emerge, our software platform must continuously adapt and evolve to accommodate these changes, which can sometimes be a race against time. 2) Scalability: As our user base grows, ensuring our platform remains fast, reliable, and responsive – regardless of the scale of operations of an individual lab or organization – is crucial. 3) Educational Gap: Synthetic biology is a specialized field, and not every potential user of our platform has a background in computational tools. Bridging the educational gap, creating intuitive user interfaces, and providing adequate training resources is an ongoing focus.”
“Addressing these bottlenecks requires a combination of innovation, collaboration, and a deep understanding of both our users’ needs and the broader synthetic biology landscape. Despite these challenges, they also present opportunities to innovate and further solidify our position as a leader in the field.”
What have been some of the company’s most significant milestones?
“Over the years, TeselaGen has hit several significant milestones that have shaped our trajectory and solidified our position in the biotech software industry. Some of these include the release of new products, including the release of our BUILD and DISCOVER modules, and also successfully integrating our platform with a range of third party services, tools and equipment.”
“We have also secured a number of patents on computational biology and AI. We have also been establishing our presence in international markets, opened offices abroad, secured multi-year contracts with important biotech institutions, co-authored scientific publications in reputable journals, among others. These milestones, among others, reflect our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in biotech software and our dedication to serving the research community.”
Customer Success Stories
Upon asking Abeliuk about customer success stories, he replied:
“Over the past several years, through a number of success stories, we’ve demonstrated that our platform can significantly speed up biological R&D processes and significantly reduce costs. A specific company that I like to highlight because I’m a big fan of is LanzaTech, a US-based company that uses biotechnology to convert industrial waste gasses into sustainable fuels and chemicals.
“This company has been working to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the sustainability of various industries, from steel production to transportation, by specifically optimizing the genetics of microbes that eat carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to produce a number of high-valuable organic compounds. By using Teselagen, they have significantly increased their capacity to design and build complex combinatorial DNA libraries, and have streamlined their lab automation workflows.”
After asking Abeliuk about the company’s funding and revenue, he replied:
“During the first many years, we had a very small team of engineers funded mostly through grants from the National Science Foundation. We spent that funding to build an early version of our platform and to validate our solution with real customers. We then raised a pre-seed round of funding to strengthen our offering, placing more emphasis on the security and enterprise features of our platform. A few years later we raised a Seed Round.”
“The company began expanding its product offerings, finding product market fit, and onboarding a number of customers across multiple verticals and geographies with a very small and product-oriented team. We are supported by a small and selective group of investors and family offices who have been instrumental in supporting our vision and growth. Alongside revenue, our customer base has also been growing and currently covers four different continents, from small companies to larger publicly traded companies working on a range of different biotech applications.”
Total Addressable Market
What total addressable market (TAM) size is the company pursuing? Abeliuk assessed:
“TeselaGen operates at the intersection of Enterprise Software, AI and Biotechnology, and the total addressable market for our offerings is significant and growing. The Global Biotech market itself has been valued at $1.45 trillion, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14% over the next decade. This market includes the Reagents, Kits & DNA market that has been valued at $600 billion. We are playing in an emerging new market that might be called ‘Biological Design Automation.’”
“As more labs and biotech companies automate their operations, the market for software solutions tailored for biological research and development is expanding. Considering the global number of biotech firms, academic institutions, and private research labs, we estimate the TAM for our specific platform solutions to be around $2 billion, with an opportunity to tap into a much larger market for DNA and biological products.”
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates the company from its competition? Abeliuk affirmed:
“While many solutions in the market focus on one aspect of the R&D workflow, TeselaGen offers a comprehensive platform that spans the whole design-build-test-learn cycle, providing an end-to-end solution for researchers and biotech companies that need good design tools for designing complex combinatorial DNA libraries, a solid lab information management system for defining and executing middle-throughput to high-throughput biological workflows, an experimental data depot that can organize data generated by biological assays, and cutting-edge data analytics and machine learning algorithms, allowing users to derive deeper insights from their experimental data, optimize designs, and predict outcomes with greater accuracy.”
“We’ve prioritized usability, ensuring that even those without a computational background can easily navigate and leverage the power of our platform.”
Future Company Goals
What are some of the company’s future company goals? Abeliuk concluded:
“At TeselaGen, we’re driven by a mission to accelerate and enhance biological research and development, ultimately leading to transformative breakthroughs across various sectors. As we look ahead, some of our key goals include to continuously enhance our platform by introducing new capabilities, leveraging the latest advancements in computational biology. We are also planning to broaden our footprint across different geographies and applications, catering to the diverse needs of the global biotech community. We are also planning to establish new partnerships that can drive mutual growth, and lead to joint innovations. Finally, we plan to foster a strong community around our platform.”
“TeselaGen stands at the forefront of software for biotechnology, a position that uniquely equips it to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The integration of AI can revolutionize the way biotech operations function, from predicting outcomes of genetic modifications to optimizing research processes. By leveraging AI, TeselaGen can accelerate research timelines, enhance the precision of experiments, and drive down costs. Additionally, AI can aid in data analysis, turning vast datasets into actionable insights. This not only offers a competitive edge in the biotech software space but also positions TeselaGen as a trailblazer in propelling the entire biotechnology sector into a new era of innovation and efficiency.”