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January 20, 2017

Ginkgo Bioworks Acquires Gen9

  • Ginkgo Bioworks said today it has acquired synthetic DNA provider Gen9 for an undisclosed price, in a deal the buyer said will enable it to improve its speed and capacity in constructing new organism designs for use across multiple industries.

    The acquisition, Ginkgo said, will bring Gen9's expertise in assembling pathway-length synthetic DNA into its automated organism-engineering foundries.

    Ginkgo's facilities will house Gen9's BioFab® manufacturing platform and proprietary technologies, software, and informatics tools, as well as Gen9's intellectual property portfolio of more than 125 patents and patents pending related to DNA synthesis and assembly technologies.

    Gen9's operations and research and development teams will also join Ginkgo, bringing with them their expertise in gene synthesis.

    “Ginkgo has been our largest customer in recent years, and we're thrilled to join forces and together forge a new trajectory for bringing the benefits of synthetic DNA to a wide range of industries,” Gen9 president and CEO Kevin Munnelly said in a statement. “Ginkgo is truly a natural fit for Gen9.”

    Gen9 has applied its technology toward producing long fragments of synthetic DNA, up to 10,000 base pairs. Ginkgo said the long DNA sequence fragments are crucial to its pipeline of designing and prototyping multigene enzyme pathways for the production of cultured ingredients, including fragrances and flavors, cosmetics, and nutritional ingredients, as well as specialty enzymes and intermediate chemicals used in numerous industries.

    "We are seeing interest from a broad range of companies looking to use cultured ingredients to make their products in a more efficient and more sustainable way. Having more direct, immediate access to the building blocks primarily for our internal use will allow us to continue to push the envelope of what is possible in biotechnology,” added Ginkgo Bioworks co-founder and CEO Jason Kelly.

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