Microba Life Sciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Announce Partnership to Discover Novel Live Biotherapeutics
Partnership will leverage Ginkgo's high throughput screening capabilities to identify potential therapeutic candidates for autoimmune diseases in Microba's extensive strain bank
BRISBANE, Australia and BOSTON, April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Microba Life Sciences (ASX:MAP), a precision microbiome science company, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a partnership to identify single-strain, live bacteria product (LBP) candidates against autoimmune diseases. The collaboration aims to build on Microba's precision approach to LBP development with an in-depth evaluation of the company's strains using Ginkgo's high throughput, automated screening capabilities.
The human gut microbiome is composed of trillions of bacteria that have an outsized influence on human health and disease. In recent years, scientists have developed a deeper understanding of the relationship between specific bacteria residing in the gut and various health outcomes, leading to a growing interest in using bacteria for therapeutic applications. As clinical trials using live biotherapeutics – biological products that contain live microorganisms applicable to the prevention, treatment, or cure of a disease – have delivered promising results, there is growing consensus that live biotherapeutics may represent a major class of therapeutics in the coming years.
"We believe the human microbiome currently represents a missing piece in the treatment of major chronic diseases, and as a result a number of microbiome-based therapeutics are progressing through clinical development globally" said Luke Reid, CEO at Microba. "Ginkgo's high throughput screening automation combined with our novel data-driven approach to therapeutic discovery from the microbiome can potentially accelerate development of breakthrough new drugs for autoimmune diseases."
Through this partnership, Ginkgo will provide high-throughput screening for Microba's proprietary library of human microbiome-isolated strains, with the goal of improving treatment for autoimmune diseases such as lupus, psoriatic arthritis and certain autoimmune liver diseases. Microba plans to leverage Ginkgo's high-throughput anaerobic culturing, multi-omics data collection and analysis, functional bioassay screening, and media and fermentation optimization capabilities to generate data sets that may help characterize potential therapeutic and non-therapeutic uses of the strains. The initial partnership combining Microba's biobank and Ginkgo's anaerobic development capabilities is expected to run approximately two years.
"Microba is doing truly innovative work during an exciting time for the field of microbiome science,"said Jennifer Wipf, Senior Vice President, Commercial Cell Engineering of Ginkgo. "We're happy to welcome new partners like Microba as we apply our platform to more applications in the living therapeutics and microbiome space."
Microba Life Sciences plans to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on April 5. In connection with the partnership, Ginkgo is investing $3.5 million USD in Microba. The IPO was fully underwritten by Canaccord Genuity and Bell Potter.
Microba Life Sciences is a precision microbiome company driving the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for major chronic diseases to improve human health. With world-leading technology for measuring the human gut microbiome, Microba employs a human-first data-driven approach to identify therapeutic leads which are naturally derived from a healthy human gut. Leveraging a globally unique, proprietary databank, Microba has established a unique, repeatable Therapeutic Platform to address large unmet clinical needs for chronic diseases with microbiome-based treatments. For more information, visit www.microba.com
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.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential success of the partnership 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, and (viii) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations. 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 annual report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 29, 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.
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Company Codes: Australia:MAP, NYSE:DNA