Ginkgo Bioworks Announces Collaboration with Merck to Improve Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Manufacturing

 

Ginkgo to engineer key biocatalytic enzymes for potential use in Merck's drug manufacturing processes

BOSTON, Oct. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a collaboration with Merck & Co., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to engineer up to four enzymes for use as biocatalysts in Merck's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing efforts. Through this collaboration, Ginkgo will leverage its extensive experience in cell engineering and enzyme design, as well as its capabilities in automated high throughput screening, manufacturing process development/optimization, bioinformatics and analytics to deliver optimal strains for expression of targeted biocatalysts.

Biocatalysis is a sustainable and often more effective alternative to some chemical synthesis steps in industrial chemical synthesis. The inherent stereospecificity of enzyme biocatalysts can reduce costly synthesis and purification steps, thereby decreasing production costs. Through this collaboration, Ginkgo aims to optimize several biocatalysts by leveraging its world-class proprietary fungal strains, cell line development, enzyme engineering and optimization, and multiomics expertise.

"Ginkgo's fungal strains present a major opportunity for improving biocatalysis. E. coli is currently the mainstay host for expressing enzymes, but a large number of enzymes will not express properly in E. coli, and those that do express in E. coli may have better homologs that only express in fungal strains," said Behzad Mahdavi, Senior Vice President of Biopharma Manufacturing and Life Sciences Tools at Ginkgo. "This enzyme optimization project with Merck has the potential to help reduce the cost of goods and enable a more robust supply chain for APIs."

"Merck is a pioneer in biocatalysis, improving manufacturing of crucial medicines. We're thrilled to be partnering with Merck, and to be leveraging our platform capabilities for improved enzyme activity and production" said Jason Kelly, co-founder and CEO at Ginkgo. "Ginkgo's platform model enables us to identify improved enzymes and develop powerful fungal strains and fermentation processes for enzyme manufacturing, empowering downstream API production for our customers."

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ginkgo will earn an upfront research and development fee and is eligible for success-based research and development milestone payments. In addition, Ginkgo is eligible to earn commercial milestone payments for each of a specified number of biocatalysis targets, which have the potential to total, in the aggregate, up to $144 million. To learn more about Ginkgo's work in enzyme discovery, visit ginkgobioworks.com/our work/enzyme-discovery.

About Ginkgo Bioworks 

Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.

Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks 

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential success of the collaboration and Ginkgo's cell programming platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "can," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of Ginkgo's business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo operates and plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (vii) the unpredictability of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for COVID-19 testing and the commercial viability of our COVID-19 testing business, (viii) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations, and (ix) our ability to close and realize the expected benefits of pending merger and acquisition transactions. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on August 15, 2022 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations. 

GINKGO BIOWORKS INVESTOR CONTACT: 
investors@ginkgobioworks.com 

GINKGO BIOWORKS MEDIA CONTACT:
press@ginkgobioworks.com

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ginkgo-bioworks-announces-collaboration-with-merck-to-improve-active-pharmaceutical-ingredient-manufacturing-301645235.html

SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks

 
 
Company Codes: NYSE:DNA
 

Back to news