Celebrating Cronos Group’s First-of-a-Kind CBC Product

Cronos Unveils its New CBC Product, the Spinach FEELZ™ Day Trip Gummies with THC+CBC, Developed on the Ginkgo Platform

We’re so excited to congratulate our customer Cronos – an innovative global cannabinoid company – for launching a CBC-focused product, the Spinach FEELZ™ THC+CBC Day Trip Mango Lime gummies, utilizing our platform for organism design and development.

The Spinach FEELZ™ Day Trip gummies are the first CBC gummy product in Canada and the first of its kind to feature a 3:1 ratio of CBC to THC. The product is currently available in Alberta and British Columbia and will be rolled out to additional provinces over the coming weeks:

  • SPINACH FEELZ™ THC+CBC DAY TRIP GUMMIES: Grab your bag, your friends and get going! A new day’s adventure awaits with Spinach FEELZ™ Day Trip gummies. From sun-up to sun-down, feel at ease and in tune with all the scents, sights, and sounds this glorious world has to offer. These one-of-a-kind THC+CBC gummies are packed with delicious mango-lime flavors and are sure to make for good times with friends. Five sour-then-sweet gummies with 10mg of THC and 30mg of CBC per pack.

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Acquiring Altar and Circularis to Strengthen Our Capabilities

Ginkgo strengthens technical capabilities through acquisitions of Altar and Circularis to provide further capabilities to customers in adaptive laboratory evolution, circular RNA, and promoter screening

We are excited to announce two new acquisitions today: Altar, a French biotechnology company that has developed a proprietary adaptive evolution platform, and Circularis, a biotechnology company with a proprietary circular RNA and promoter screening platform. Through these acquisitions, we expect to offer new solutions to customers across multiple industries and further bolster our capabilities across the full stack of biological engineering.

At Ginkgo, we are constantly searching for technologies and capabilities that will make biology easier to engineer and help our customers achieve their goals. Altar will help us achieve this mission through the integration of a fleet of its automated adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) instruments into Ginkgo’s Foundry to serve our customers in industries including the food and beverage, biofuels, biomaterials, cosmetics, animal health, and human health sectors. The Circularis platform will enhance our capabilities in circular RNA and ultra-high-throughput screening of promoters, enabling us to develop new solutions for customers across bioproduction, RNA therapeutics, cell therapy, and gene therapy applications.

Incorporating Altar’s adaptive laboratory evolution platform

We’ve come a long way in rational genome editing and high-throughput testing over the last decade. But it still often remains challenging to engineer microorganisms that meet target specifications under harsh, industrially-relevant conditions. That’s due in part to the complexity and unknowns of the underlying genetics of organisms that grow in these unfavorable conditions and settings. ALE can be a powerful approach to address this challenge.

By incorporating Altar’s ALE platform into our existing strain engineering and screening capabilities, we expect to be able to routinely engineer and identify phenotypes that meet our customers’ specifications. Selected strains from ALE will be characterized and further validated by our existing suite of test workflows. We’ve had success collaborating with Altar in the past on customer programs and are thrilled to welcome them to the team.

“As the range of programs we work on continues to expand, it is imperative that we have the best tools in rational design as well as the ability to leverage the inherent diversity and creativity that emerges from evolutionary processes,” said Nikos Reppas, our senior director of Foundry Technology. “We’re excited to welcome the Altar team to Ginkgo and look forward to integrating the Altar technology into Ginkgo’s suite of offerings so we can better serve existing and future customers.”

“We founded Altar to increase the feasibility and reduce time-to-market for bio-manufactured products,” said Simon Trancart, CEO of Altar. “We’ve been working with Ginkgo for a few years now, and are thrilled to join the Ginkgo platform as we work to accomplish our mission at an even greater scale by collectively using biology to drive innovation across industries.”

Incorporating Circularis’ proprietary circular RNA and promoter screening platform

The Circularis platform will strengthen our ability to assist customers in their cell and gene therapy development. The acquisition will improve our capability to rapidly identify novel promoters with appropriate strength and tissue-specificity designed into customer-specific delivery modalities. Leveraging Ginkgo’s ability to explore large numbers of genetic designs, these promoter libraries can be explored in combination with modified therapeutic payloads and capsids. This will provide our customer who are gene therapy developers with a solution that works across any range of cell or organism models. Similarly, the Circularis platform will give us the ability to rapidly identify context-specific promoters for cell therapy applications, such as those that modulate gene expression in the tumor microenvironment.

“Circularis has built an exceptional platform to screen gene expression regulatory elements, a need across the cell and gene therapy space,” said Narendra Maheshri, our head of Mammalian Foundry. “We are excited to leverage the strong expertise of the Circularis team to further develop circular RNA methods for therapeutic use, and can’t wait to incorporate this technology into existing and upcoming cell programs across therapeutic applications as well as more broadly.”

“Circularis was founded because we saw a need for better tools to control gene regulation in a range of species. Our team is incredibly proud of what we’ve built, and the opportunity to scale it on the Ginkgo platform means we’re a major step closer to realizing this technology’s potential,” said Mat Falkowski, Chief Executive Officer at Circularis. “We are excited to bring the power of the Ginkgo platform to both Circularis’ already existing customer base and future partners.”

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

New Executive Order to Bolster Biotech, Ginkgo CEO at White House & Ginkgo VP to Lead ARPA-H

It’s been a big week here at Ginkgo and for the future of the bioeconomy!

The White House issued an executive order to launch a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative & tapped Ginkgo’s Renee Wegrzyn to lead the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.

The White House has made it clear: the future lies in biotechnology. On Monday, Sept. 12, President Biden signed an executive order – Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy – that launched a national biotechnology and biomanufacturing initiative. The executive order will accelerate the use of biotech in industries such as agriculture, medicine, and energy as an alternative to fossil fuel-based products.

Also on Monday: Dr. Renee Wegrzyn — Ginkgo’s very own Vice President of Business Development — was tapped by President Joe Biden to lead the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) as its first director. ARPA-H is a new government agency, formed in March 2022, that will drive biomedical innovation to support the health of all Americans.

Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, Ginkgo’s CEO Jason Kelly joined a Summit on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, hosted at the White House. Government and industry leaders discussed how to grow the bioeconomy and better leverage it against our most pressing economic, ecological, and societal challenges like climate change and supply chain insecurity. Jason spoke about being at the forefront of “the DNA Age” and noted the importance that this industry be built with care and U.S. values. Read Jason’s full remarks below.

The new Executive Order on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing stands to have a momentous impact on the industry.

The executive order contains a wide array of new efforts by the U.S. government to support the wider synthetic biology and biotechnology sector. Read the full White House fact sheet here for a quick overview. Here’s a snapshot of the initiative objectives:

  • Grow domestic biomanufacturing capacity
  • Expand market opportunities for bio-based products
  • Drive research and development to solve our greatest challenges
  • Improve access to quality federal data
  • Train a diverse skilled workforce
  • Streamline regulations for products of biotechnology
  • Advance biosafety and biosecurity to reduce risk
  • Protect the U.S. biotechnology ecosystem
  • Build a thriving, secure global bioeconomy with partners and allies


Ginkgo’s Renee Wegrzyn asked to lead ARPA-H

Ginkgo is feeling OVER THE MOON that Dr. Renee Wegrzyn, our current Vice President of Business Development, has been asked to be the inaugural Director of ARPA-H. Renee will be charged with shaping the agency’s vision and approach from the ground up. We at Ginkgo know that Renee is the perfect person to meet this moment. Before Ginkgo, Renee accrued a diverse set of experiences leading R&D teams in industry and serving as a Program Manager at DARPA. She’s spent the past two years developing Ginkgo’s biosecurity innovation pipeline, implementing new tools to combat infectious disease, and shaping our emergency COVID-19 response.

We will miss Renee dearly, but view her upcoming appointment as a huge signal of progress for the future of biotech, pharmaceuticals, and medical innovation. We feel this is a major leap forward in creating an equitable, resilient, and innovative health system. Read the full White House announcement about Renee here.

Read through our CEO Jason Kelly’s full remarks from the White House Summit on Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing.

Jason visited the White House on Wednesday to discuss the future of biotechnology with government officials and industry leaders. Many topics were explored, like bringing bio-products to market, expanding domestic biomanufacturing, and using biotech to strengthen supply chains as well as fostering a diverse, skilled workforce and next generation of leaders.

Watch the recording of the full Summit or read a transcript of Jason’s live remarks below.

Today, Ginkgo is the largest designer of synthetic DNA in the world. What does that mean? It means you go on a computer, you type ‘ATCGGG,’ you hit print, and a piece of DNA gets printed out of our labs in Boston or partner companies like Twist in California. We then take that DNA, and we put it into the genome of a cell – like installing an app on your phone. And it makes the cell do something new! That’s our business. We do that as a service for customers.

So what types of applications are we seeing our customers ask for? Well, we work with Bayer Crop Science on a project – a $100 million project – to engineer microbes to produce fertilizer for crops. We’re helping them develop microbes that take nitrogen right out of the air and feed it to the crop. If you are successful at this, that’s 1 to 2% of global greenhouse gas, and it’s a big supply chain problem as we know today –  that’s just one project.

We have a project with a company called Allonnia that’s asked us to engineer microbes to break down PFAS. This is something where the administration’s really led, thanks to the EPA, to get this chemical out of our water sources.

We’ve worked with companies that want rare disease treatments to ones that focus on rare earth element recovery.

The range on bioengineering is unbelievable. To me, this means that the DNA Age that’s coming is going to be more important than the Electronics Age that we saw over the last 75 years.

While biology is programmable like electronics and computers, it’s important to note that it’s not predictable like computers. We saw this with COVID-19 – biology can get out of control. And so it was great to hear the comments [earlier during this summit] about biosecurity and biosafety. I think this is going to be absolutely critical as we do that. So we’ve been lucky to work with the CDC — with their airports program — that caught the first cases of the BA.2 and BA.3 variants entering the US with our surveillance sequencing program. This is the beginning of a ‘hurricane warning system’ for infectious disease. We have to have this stuff as we enter the age of programmed biology.

We work with the US Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) through Operation Expanded Testing. This is in my opinion one of the most important biosecurity programs in the country: it kept schools open through the Omicron wave and it’s rolled out nationwide testing available for free in schools. Enormously important. 

The last thing I want to say is as we’re building this technology, it’s extremely important that we do it with care. It was excellent to hear the comments about wanting to share the benefits of this technology with the wider public. I think it’s also important to note, we want the wider public to participate in this technology. We spend a lot of time on literacy. We teach people to read and write. We need bio literacy. We need to teach people to read and write DNA so that they’re not just receiving the benefits of this, they’re the actual creators of this in the future. I want to say the DNA Age is coming, and I want to thank you all for your leadership in making sure that it’s built on US values.” — Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks

Find the full press release detailing the ARPA-H announcement here along with all of the latest news from the Ginkgo team.

Exciting times ahead! What will you grow with Ginkgo?

MassBioEd Apprenticeship Program

Ginkgo is thrilled to be an Apprenticeship Employer for the MassBioEd Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program, which provides an invaluable pathway into the life sciences for individuals who otherwise lack a pathway to entry. This accelerated 16-month program provides a path for individuals from historically marginalized communities by providing four months of free, stipended classroom and laboratory education by MassBioEd and Northeastern University followed by one year of paid on-the-job training. Ginkgo has hired six apprentices in the 2022 cohort, who will start their work in the Fall. If you’re interested in being part of future classes, apply here.

MassBioEd Apprenticeship
2022 Cohort of MassBioEd’s Life Science Apprenticeship Program. Photo courtesy of MassBioEd

Alyson Grine Growth Team MBA Associate

“Since starting my career I have been passionate about leveraging business to advance social good and sustainability. These interests led me to pursue an MBA at the University of Michigan Ross, where I have been reflecting on how to create lasting positive impact, practicing the skills of being an empathetic leader, and exploring design thinking methodologies. I was so excited to join Ginkgo for the summer as an intern on the Commercial Growth team because it represented the opportunity to combine my interests and skills, with a little added whimsy! This summer I have been primarily working with the Agriculture BD team as they look for opportunities to design repeatable product sets.”

Alyson Grine, Commercial Cell Engineering MBA Intern, Growth Team, Commercial Cell Engineering division




Karim Kane Concentric by Ginkgo Co-Op

“I am an Innovation Associate on the Ginkgo Concentric team. I work with the Delivery Team to help provide and facilitate COVID-19 testing to K-12 schools to build a biosecurity infrastructure. I chose Ginkgo because of the people and the company’s ambitious goals. Everyone seems to love what they do and no one is afraid to dream big!”

Karim Kane, Innovation Associate (Co-Op), Delivery – Lab Network/Compliance Team, Concentric by Ginkgo division




Samip Dhakal People Team Intern

“I am a rising senior at Clark University. I was the People Team intern for summer 2022 and had a rotational position that exposed me to various roles and aspects within the People Team.
I chose Ginkgo because of their whimsy culture and their simple mission to make biology easier to engineer. From hilarious slack emojis to dinosaur memes, I made a lot of funny memories during my time. I loved the fact that I could approach anyone and get to know them at Ginkgo. The employees are whimsy and the work environment is welcoming and supportive.”

Samip Dhakal, People Team Intern




Yasmine Karni Software Engineering Intern

“I work on the Decepticons team in the Software department at Ginkgo. My project this summer was to create a new Organick step for the cre lox operation, which is a way to recombine DNA. I chose to work at Ginkgo because I believe the cross section between biology and technology is fascinating, and wanted to be able to contribute, learn, and grow here! Working at Ginkgo has been a wonderful experience, which in large part has to do with the people I get to work with. I love all the pop culture references and all the events Ginkgo has for the interns and employees!”

Yasmine Karni, Software Engineering Intern, Digital Tech Division




Ariel Fuchs Software Engineering Intern

Ariel Fuchs

“As a computer science and brain and cognitive science major at MIT, I was excited to contribute to Ginkgo’s ambitious scientific endeavors in health and sustainability. I interned as a full stack software engineer on the Impressionists team, where I was able to expand my technical skill set as well as explore how an innovative biotech firm operates. Ginkgo is made up of amazing people and I have truly enjoyed every part of my internship!”

Ariel Fuchs, Software Engineering Intern, Digital Tech Division




From Small Communities To Big Innovations

Patrick Boyle started his career in synthetic biology just as the field was formally taking shape.  Now Head of Codebase at Ginkgo Bioworks, Patrick was one of the first generations of students to complete his entire graduate program in synbio — and he had the unique opportunity to study under the industry’s pioneers. Back then, the field was still a small community.

He’s no stranger to small communities – in fact, he learned to thrive in them. Raised in Alaska and the son of two educators who moved to the state to enhance academic opportunities for indigenous communities, Patrick experienced a uniquely austere lifestyle growing up, living in tiny villages dependent on monthly food shipments and local food like salmon and cranberries. It was like living on Mars, Patrick says.

“I originally wanted to study aerospace engineering, and be an astronaut,” he remembers. That plan quickly changed when he arrived at MIT as an undergraduate and saw what was possible with molecular biology. Those possibilities, he recalls, “blew his mind.”

When he arrived in Boston, Patrick faced an understandable degree of culture shock – from a tiny village to a college town, and from Yupik community culture to a metropolitan lifestyle, away from his family and Filipino roots and into a culturally diverse network of classmates and faculty.

“My history involved acquiring a different level of privilege every few years. I went to a public high school in Alaska and somehow made it to MIT for college, and Harvard for grad school,” Patrick says. “The second I arrived [at MIT], the opportunities I had access to changed. All of the opportunities I have today are so different from the ones I was born into – and it makes me really think about all of the people who didn’t stumble into MIT and Harvard, and earn the privilege that I did.”

Dr. Patrick Boyle

Patrick says he tries to always maintain awareness of that privilege and of his roots, because he believes privilege becomes invisible once a person benefits from the experience of it. He also carries that mindfulness into how he manages and leads within the organization, and particularly, into Ginkgo’s hiring and recruiting practices.

“When you’re bringing in brilliant people that are really amazing in different areas, from all over the world, it’s really humbling,” Patrick explains. “[Ginkgo Founder] Tom Knight taught me that if you always feel like you’re hiring people that are smarter than yourself you’ll never regret it, and that’s definitely what we strive to do here.”

Patrick credits Knight, who was formerly a MIT professor, with fostering a culture of collaboration with very little hierarchy. According to Patrick, Knight is always willing to be in the lab and helping others, where he encourages dialogue and learning.

Ultimately, Patrick believes that Ginkgo is a place where he’s been able to not only grow, but also put down strong community roots. And he’s committed to helping others do the same.