DARPA Fold F(x) Industry Forum

June 12, 2018

Hotel Spero (formerly Serrano Hotel)
405 Taylor Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Program Information

The DARPA Folded Non-Natural Polymers with Biological Function program (Fold F(x)) aims to provide new tools to rapidly discover stable, reproducible, functional polymers for medicines and diagnostics, enabling faster response to emerging threats. Instead of rational pairwise design of a single polymeric binder to a specific threat, Fold F(x) seeks to develop approaches for rapid synthesis and high throughput screening of up to a billion sequence-defined polymers per threat to discover sensitive and selective binders. This physical search methodology is analogous to a highly parallel computation, exploiting the structural diversity of a stochastic set of folded polymer structures to discover desired function. As such, Fold F(x) is demonstrating strategies to accelerate searching a massive design space to discover structures of interest for a variety of applications.

Over the last four years, Fold F(x) performers have developed new tools to synthesize, screen and optimize candidate therapeutics and diagnostics on over 25 small molecule, protein and whole bacteria/virus targets, including important threats such as MRSA, Shiga toxin, HIV, and ochratoxin. The methods have been validated against DARPA challenge targets with a DoD-partner at Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center (ECBC), are generalizable, and provide superior stability to current biotherapeutics. Performers have been paired with other DoD partners such as the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), to test their structures against current DoD bacterial and viral threats.


Institution-specific information can be found at the websites of the speakers (see Agenda) and the following links:

Harvard University: A recent publication in Nature Chemistry is available on the group website

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Scientists Develop Sugar-Coated Nanosheets to Selectively Target Pathogens

University of California-Irvine: See open access Nature Comm publication

The Scripps Research Institute: Chemists Develop Inexpensive, Versatile Technique for Making RNA and Chemists Use Modified DNA Nucleotides to Create New Materials

Further information is available on the DARPA website including a press release describing the program in 2016.


There is no registration fee. Lunch and beverages will be provided.