Expanded Partnership To Develop Functional Chemicals with Sumitomo Chemical

Today we’re pleased to announce a new program with Sumitomo Chemical to develop functional chemicals with synthetic biology and expand upon our existing biomanufacturing partnership.

We have been collaborating with Sumitomo Chemical since 2021, leveraging our synthetic biology platform for the production of products in industries ranging from personal care and cosmetics, to agriculture and pharma. Today’s announcement marks the start of a third project with Sumitomo Chemical which aims to enable the mass production of functional chemicals via fermentation.

Partnering to develop products with a lower carbon footprint

As part of this latest project, we plan to utilize our strain design technology to develop a microbial strain and related fermentation process to produce the target molecule. Sumitomo Chemical will develop the manufacturing process and its scale-up for commercialization. By mass-producing the functional chemicals through microbial fermentation instead of traditional fossil fuel-based chemical synthesis, together we aim to provide products with a lower carbon footprint that contribute toward a carbon-neutral society.

As the rapid development of biotechnology and digital technologies continues, synthetic biology, in which organisms are genetically engineered to express desired functions, is attracting more attention in various fields. In particular, leaders in the chemical industry expect synthetic biology to have the potential to replace raw materials and create energy-saving processes, replacing the current high-temperature, high-pressure processes that use petroleum as a raw material.

“In the field of chemicals, there is an urgent need to develop products and processes with low environmental impact, and we believe that the use of synthetic biology will meet this need,” said Hiroshi Ueda, Executive Vice President of Sumitomo Chemical. “By strengthening our collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks as a partner in synthetic biology, we aim to accelerate the development of innovative technologies that could be a game changer for the chemical industry and ultimately consumers.”

Sumitomo Chemical is a valued long-term partner to Ginkgo Bioworks, and we are as excited as ever about our work together to introduce bio-based products across multiple industries. Our ongoing relationship provides an invaluable opportunity to generate continuous learning and create scalable processes that allow our partners to make more and more sustainable products through synthetic biology. We’re so proud of the fruits already borne by our unique collaboration, and we look forward to continuing to work through the pipeline of products of interest that we share with our fantastic colleagues at Sumitomo Chemical.

Find the full press release here along with all of the latest news from the Ginkgo team.

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