BigHat Biosciences earns Phase I award from NIST to show power of AI-driven platform

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BigHat Biosciences received a Phase I SBIR award from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) to apply its AI-driven platform to rapidly identify high-yield expression vectors for therapeutic antibody production.

BigHat’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Peyton Greenside, noted, “We are honored that NIST sees the potential for our approach. This Phase I study will demonstrate that BigHat’s platform can design novel and improved DNA templates by querying only a tiny fraction of candidate sequences in a massive search space.”

The Phase I SBIR grant aims to increase protein production by jointly optimizing a 30 base pair DNA sequence involving the expression cassette and start of the protein coding sequence through tight coupling of computational and experimental evaluation on the BigHat platform. Sequences longer than ~10 base pairs have been historically intractable to search effectively because the search space is simply too large for comprehensive experimental exploration.

“We started BigHat Biosciences because we believe that AI/ML-powered molecular engineering will allow us to design biotherapeutics inaccessible to traditional approaches,” shared CEO Mark DePristo, PhD. “Our work with NIST will help BigHat benchmark and further improve our technologies for data-driven antibody design.

About BigHat Biosciences

BigHat Biosciences is an early-stage Bay Area startup reimagining antibody discovery and engineering to create better antibodies faster and undertake novel designs far beyond what's possible today. BigHat designs antibodies using an agile, multi-objective, and data-driven platform that integrates a high-speed wet lab with AI and machine learning. Founded in 2019, BigHat Biosciences counts among its founders, employees, and advisors world-leading experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence, computational biology, software engineering, and drug development. BigHat’s investors include 8VC, AME Cloud Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors. Learn more at

About NIST

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), a nonregulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit