It started with frogs.

The Amphoraxe story began in the Birol Lab at BC Cancer’s Genome Sciences Centre. In 2013, Amphoraxe Co-Founder Dr. Inanç Birol collaborated with Dr. Caren Helbing (University of Victoria) on a basic research project to sequence the genome of the North American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana). Frogs are some of the most prolific sources of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) identified to date, and the initial research project discovered many novel potential AMPs. 

A growing academic collaboration led by Dr. Birol has continued to identify and improve bullfrog AMPs ever since, with funding support from Genome Canada and Genome British Columbia. Most recently, the team received a $6.9 M investment from Genome Canada and Genome British Columbia as part of the Large-Scale Applied Research Project funding scheme.

Amphoraxe Life Sciences Inc. was created in 2019 to optimize and commercialize the most promising AMPs identified by our academic partners. The Amphoraxe team also continues to rapidly identify and improve additional candidate AMPs, as ongoing innovation will be necessary to counter the moving target of antibiotic resistance. 


  • Antimicrobial peptides from Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana: Gene structure and bioinformatic identification of novel forms from tadpoles. Scientific Reports 2019
  • The North American bullfrog draft genome provides insight into hormonal regulation of long noncoding RNA. Nature Communications 2017
  • De novo Transcriptome Assemblies of Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana and Xenopus laevis Tadpole Livers for Comparative Genomics without Reference Genomes. PLoS One 2015

Please see Inanç Birol's Google Scholar profile for additional Birol Lab publications

 Bullfrog photograph by Ryan Hodnett; Bacterial lawn photograph by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chicken photograph by dewdrop157