Enhancing Meaty Taste of Mycoprotein with Nosh.bio


Today we’re so excited to announce a new partnership with Nosh.bio, a German startup developing highly functional ingredients from fungal biomass for animal-free products. Nosh.bio will leverage our Ginkgo Strain Optimization Services to screen for protein-producing fungi strains with superior sensorial profiles. By leveraging Ginkgo’s ultra high throughput encapsulated screening capabilities, the program aims to produce a mycoprotein that delivers a rich, savory, and natural meaty taste when used in food products.

The Challenges with Animal-Free Protein

Companies developing animal-free protein still face challenges in creating tastier, less processed, and affordable alternative-protein products. Nosh.bio has built a technological platform that uses fungal biomass to create animal-free single-ingredient animal meat alternatives from mycoprotein for human nutrition.

For meat-alternatives, red meat — like a juicy steak — remains the most challenging product to be developed, and current alternatives contain many ingredients and chemical additives. Nosh.bio aims to leverage their highly efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective production process to create a single-ingredient animal-free product that tastes and feels just like red meat, while being healthier than an animal product.

Ginkgo Strain Optimization Services

To enable this advanced alt-protein product, Ginkgo aims to discover and deliver a strain of fungi with higher native proteins involved in achieving the rich meat taste, juiciness, and color that Nosh.bio is seeking. To do so, we plan to execute a mutagenesis and screening campaign with our proprietary encapsulation and screening technology (EncapS). This can make it possible to search through up to 1 million strain variants in a single run and select the best performing candidates for further development. Using such an improved strain can help Nosh.bio develop a mycoprotein that is superior in taste, color, performance, and nutrition.

“Nosh.bio is eager to enable the transition from animal-based to animal-free products. Our affordable, high quality plant-based ingredients can build a product that’s even closer to meat in taste and texture than alt-protein options currently on the market,” said Tim Fronzek, CEO and Co-Founder of Nosh.bio. “What really excites us about partnering with Ginkgo is their accelerated screening technology that can help us pinpoint and develop a super ‘meaty’ mycoprotein.”

Leveling Up the Alt-Meat Protein Industry

We’re thrilled to partner with Nosh.bio and help level-up the alt-meat protein industry to deliver sustainable products that taste closer to real meat than ever before. Our proprietary encapsulation and screening technology can expeditiously deliver valuable insights that enable our partners to optimize their R&D efforts and overall product.

To learn more about Ginkgo Strain Optimization Services, please visit https://www.ginkgobioworks.com/offerings/strain-optimization-services/.

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Optimizing Cell-Free Carbon Fixation Process for Biomanufacturing with Ensovi

Today we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Ensovi!

Ensovi has a platform for the cell-free transformation of carbon dioxide (CO2) into Acetyl-CoA, which can then be converted into many other products, such as precursors to flavorings, supplements, pharmaceuticals or even fuels, using Ensovi’s end-to-end, cell-free biosynthesis approach.

Ensovi will leverage Ginkgo Enzyme Services to help optimize this process.

Under the terms of the agreement, we will support the discovery and development of enzymes needed to bring Ensovi’s cell-free biomanufacturing platform to market.

Companies in the chemical industry are searching for more sustainable, yet cost-competitive, manufacturing alternatives to decarbonize supply chains. The ability to use CO2 as a feedstock can enable carbon-neutral or -negative manufacturing processes with reduced feedstock costs and risks, as well as provide better alternatives for companies that have costly CO2 waste streams.

By partnering with Ginkgo to discover and design bioengineered market-ready enzymes, Ensovi anticipates being able to extend its cell-free biomanufacturing system broadly into fine and commodity chemical manufacturing.

“We believe our modular cell-free system holds powerful potential to economically transform CO2 – the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities – into so many different useful materials. Our collaboration will draw on Ginkgo’s extensive enzyme discovery and design capabilities, allowing us to accelerate our continuous process of pathway discovery and enzyme optimization to further reduce costs and expand our supported product portfolio.”

Richard Harrison, co-founder and CEO of Ensovi

Ginkgo Enzyme Services offers partners end-to-end support for the discovery, engineering, optimization, and scale-up of enzymes for diverse applications. Through the partnership, Ginkgo will leverage its suite of services, including metagenomic enzyme discovery, as well as enzyme optimization for function and stability to support Ensovi’s applications.

Ensovi’s cell-free biomanufacturing system is a pioneering solution for the chemical industry and beyond. We’re eager to leverage our synthetic biology platform and advanced enzyme discovery and development capabilities to enable Ensovi to optimize and extend the cell-free transformation of CO2 into sustainably produced products.

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Multi-Target RNA Discovery Collaboration with Pfizer

Today we’re thrilled to announce a collaboration with Pfizer focused on the discovery of RNA-based drug candidates.

Pfizer will leverage Ginkgo’s proprietary RNA technology to advance the discovery and development of novel RNA molecules across priority research areas. Ginkgo will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive research fees and development and commercial milestone payments, up to an aggregate total of $331 million across three programs. Ginkgo is entitled to potential further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales.

RNA therapeutics that encode proteins with the potential to treat or cure diseases represent an exciting new approach in medicine with the possibility of far-reaching application.

Our RNA technology combines high-throughput screening of the behavior of RNA constructs with a multi-parameter design framework to identify novel natural and synthetic elements optimal for a particular application. We will deploy these capabilities with the goal of achieving efficient production, circularization, improved stability, and enhanced translation of each RNA construct.

“RNA therapeutics are proving to be an important platform to advance the world of scientific innovation, and with progress in synthetic biology we have the potential to create new RNA treatments that may benefit patients worldwide. Access to Ginkgo’s proprietary platform will help enable Pfizer to search for novel and exciting RNA constructs with improved stability and expression that could lead to more effective treatments.”

Will Somers, PH.D., Head, Biomedicine Design, Pfizer

Billions of patients around the world have already benefited from advances in RNA-based technologies.

We’re thrilled to be able to help enable the discovery and development of novel drugs using this powerful modality by applying our platform technologies which are designed to program RNA for maximum therapeutic effect. Ginkgo’s approach enables and accelerates discovery across different disease areas and modalities for our partners, who bring deep expertise in drug development. We can’t wait to leverage our broad and deep RNA Codebase and deploy our Foundry to enable the era of programmable medicines with the Pfizer team.

To learn more about Ginkgo’s RNA Therapeutics offering, visit our webpage.

Ready to talk to our team about your RNA project? Get in touch here.

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Ginkgo Awarded DARPA Contract to Reimagine the Manufacturing of Complex Therapeutic Proteins

We’re pleased to share that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that we have been awarded a 4-year contract worth up to $18 million to reimagine how to manufacture complex therapeutic proteins.

As a performer on DARPA’s Reimagining Protein Manufacturing (RPM) project, we aim to deliver revolutionary advances in on-demand protein manufacturing by leveraging Cell-Free Protein Synthesis (CFPS) to enable rapid, high-yield, distributed production of human therapeutic proteins that support national security objectives. We will lead a team comprising representatives from Imperial College London, led by Prof. Paul Freemont, Nature’s Toolbox, Inc., led by Alex Koglin, and consultant Michael Feldhaus (former Executive VP of Antibody Discovery at Adimab).

There is growing recognition that pharmaceutical supply chains are at risk. One way to meet this challenge is distributed manufacturing at the point of care. Imagine a future where drugs, including complex biologics, are produced locally or in a widely distributed manner on-demand. We’re very excited to be working with DARPA to make that future a reality.

Replacing cell-based methods with cell-free methods

Therapeutic proteins bearing so-called “post-translational modifications,” such as antibodies, cytokines, and clotting factors are particularly important in the marketplace and to DARPA, as are subunit and conjugate vaccines. Half of the top-selling drugs used to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases are such therapeutic proteins; many are also used as medical countermeasures to treat or prevent disease, injury, or death related to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats. Through this program, we hope to transform how therapeutic proteins are made, replacing cell-based methods with cell-free methods. Traditional centralized, large-scale manufacturing methods have usually sufficed, but increasingly there are use cases where rapid distributed or on-demand manufacturing is needed, such as supplying of therapeutic proteins to geographically isolated locales, providing hospitals and clinics with point-of-need rapid production of medicines from common precursors, and improving our ability to mount rapid and targeted responses to natural or man-made biological threats and emergencies.

Traditional production methods rely on weeks- to months-long construction of bespoke cellular organisms that have been engineered to produce the desired therapeutic protein during days-long fermentation processes. Even with standardized methods, it typically takes months to achieve the first useful production of a biological drug. Post-expression isolation and purification are equally challenging: each unique process is costly and time-consuming to develop.

Enabling the rapid prototyping of enzymes for diverse therapeutic and nontherapeutic projects

Cell-Free Protein Synthesis (CFPS), by contrast, brings the key advantages of greater speed and flexibility than cell- and fermentation-based production. Significant improvements are needed to make CFPS competitive with traditional therapeutic protein production, however, primarily with respect to efficiency and the identity and homogeneity of post-translational modifications. In this program, we seek to address these challenges and hope to enable the rapid prototyping of enzymes and other proteins for diverse therapeutic and nontherapeutic projects. One aim of the project is to create production methods that are compatible with Good Manufacturing Practices, thereby facilitating adoption by the pharmaceutical industry.

We will leverage innovative technologies enabled by our high-throughput, automated Foundry and our proprietary genetic data Codebase, a portfolio of reusable biological assets which includes more than one billion proprietary gene sequences. Our synthetic biology platform, coupled with our extensive expertise in iterative Design–Build–Test–Learn-driven biological engineering, enables the rapid prototyping, optimization, and development of proteins, enzymes, metabolic pathways, and whole organisms under commercial-scale manufacturing conditions processes.

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

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.

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Virtual Event: Functional Food Proteins with Microbial Expression Systems

Watch the Event

A recording of the Virtual Event, Functional Food Proteins with Microbial Expression Systems, is available here.


Foundry Services for Functional Proteins

On June 30th, Ginkgo hosted a live virtual event to present our latest strain engineering capabilities for food proteins and enzymes. These capabilities support our offering of R&D services for the nutrition and wellness industry and are relevant for anyone seeking to produce functional protein ingredients with precision fermentation.

Strain Matters: Pichia and Aspergillus

The event featured two of our favorite microbial production hosts, Pichia pastoris and Aspergillus niger. Both of these strains have long been favored for protein and enzyme production because of their high productivity, food-safe regulatory status and ability to grow on low-cost feedstocks.

But not all strains of yeast and fungi can perform at the level required for food ingredient production at scale. A key message of the event was that your strain matters: choosing the correct expression host for your protein product can speed up your development times and decrease your final production costs.

Ginkgo offers proprietary strains of Pichia and Aspergillus that can address many of the common challenges of food protein or enzyme production. Two featured presentations during the event described the relative strengths of each strain and a case study in which the strain delivered for a particular customer’s performance requirements.

Pichia is often preferred as a base strain for its easy engineerability and large genetic toolbox. Andrea Camattari, Senior Director of Organism Engineering, presented a recent project in which Pichia was adapted to produce an iron-binding food protein, using proprietary methanol-free expression systems (20-fold higher expression than methanol based promoters). Several strategies were employed to improve the expression and the localization of the needed cofactors, resulting in a host strain that far exceeded the customer’s production targets.

Aspergillus can produce certain classes of proteins at extraordinarily high titer (120 g/L or higher), but has historically been limited in large-scale fermentations because of its high viscosity. Peter Punt, Distinguished Organism Engineer and Guest Professor at Leiden University, described Ginkgo’s proprietary low-viscosity, proteases knocked-out and “clean” background Aspergillus that can produce food proteins and enzymes in high titer.

Technology Matters: Ginkgo’s Foundry

Strain engineering at Ginkgo, whether in Pichia, Aspergillus, or another host organism, is an integrated process that benefits from the full stack of cell programming technologies available on our foundry platform. Sneha Srikrishnan, Director of Growth, surveyed a range of technological capabilities that we can deploy for a customer’s project.

Metagenomic Protein Discovery: For projects seeking a particular function or enzyme activity, but without a precisely defined sequence, Ginkgo offers a large in-house discovery library of more than 2 billion genes. This library is substantially larger than public repositories and enables the discovery of previously undescribed functional proteins and enzymes.

ML-Guided Protein Engineering: Enzyme Intelligence™ is Ginkgo’s platform for protein engineering employing generative AI and structure-based design. Our protein engineering team is distinguished by the depth of their experience, having delivered dozens of projects across a range of applications, and the large datasets they can access through Ginkgo’s experimental and assay capabilities.

Industry-Leading Automation: Ginkgo has invested almost half a billion dollars in foundry infrastructure, including an expansive robotics platform for automated DNA assembly, transformation, and strain characterization. Data-rich enzyme engineering projects are needed to make the most of data-hungry ML software. High-throughput strategies that can discover rare high-performance variants that can be missed with low-throughput approaches.

Phenotypic Selection with EncapS: The EncapS (Encapsulation and Screening) system allows up to one million strain variants to be characterized in a single campaign. The ultra-high-throughput technology uses microfluidics to package cells in nanoliter-scale droplets, allowing measurement and optimization of secreted protein production. As a screening technique, EncapS can enable strain improvement even without targeted genetic modifications.

Experience Matters: Success-Based Pricing

The depth of Ginkgo’s experience in protein and enzyme production projects gives us a unique confidence in our ability to meet our customers’ performance targets. Alyssa Blaize, Director of Growth, presented our new Success-Based Pricing model as a way for Ginkgo to “put our money where our mouth is” and to allow our customers to directly benefit from that experience.

Projects that are covered by Success-Based Pricing include enzyme discovery, protein engineering and production optimization projects that are determined to have a high probability of success. Ginkgo and our partner work together to set the performance targets for a particular project. If the performance targets aren’t met, the customer pays no R&D fees.

This presentation included more details about the Success-Based Pricing model and a project flowchart highlighting decision points and cost structures at each phase. With Success-Based Pricing, customers are able to lower their technical risk and minimize their financial exposure to the traditional uncertainties of biology R&D.

AgBiome Leverages Ginkgo Strain Optimization Services

Today we’re announcing a partnership with AgBiome, a leader in global microbial innovation.

The aim is to optimize the performance of products in AgBiome’s pipeline of agricultural biologicals. Organizations developing next generation agricultural inputs can access our platform to accelerate discovery and deployment of new products.

By leveraging Ginkgo’s Strain Optimization Services, AgBiome aims to provide growers with new and improved live microbial strain products.

The biological crop protection market has significantly grown in recent years. Growers have increasingly sought effective and sustainable alternatives to synthetic pest control products. By leveraging our suite of advanced biology tools, AgBiome aims to enhance the breadth and efficacy of novel biological products.

We believe we can identify improved variants at massive scale.

That can help deliver more potent agricultural biologicals and bring the next generation of products to market. We are thrilled to work with an industry leader like AgBiome as we seek to optimize live microbial strain products in their pipeline and provide even better solutions to growers around the world.

“AgBiome is committed to creating the most effective crop protection products, and we are always looking for new technologies to enable better performance. We are excited to utilize Ginkgo’s capabilities in ultra high throughput assay development to evolve the next generation of biologicals as we continue to provide growers with improved product efficacy.”

-Scott Uknes, Co-founder and Co-CEO of AgBiome

Ginkgo’s ultra high throughput encapsulated screening technology:

  • Makes it possible to search through up to 1 million strain variants in a single run
  • Selects the best performing candidates for further development
  • Is built on nanoliter encapsulation technology, and thus provides nanoscale growth and assay compartments
  • Makes it possible to greatly reduce the screening time for large libraries


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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Virtual Event: Cell Therapy Services

Watch the Event

On May 31st, Ginkgo hosted a live webinar to present our capabilities and latest results in CAR-T engineering and cell therapy.
A recording of the Virtual Event, Cell Therapy Services, is available here.

A Platform of Platforms for Full-Stack Engineering

Shawdee Eshghi, Senior Director of Mammalian Engineering, shared an overview of Ginkgo’s platform for mammalian cell engineering for biopharmaceutical applications. Advances in synthetic biology are revolutionizing medicine across a range of modalities and disease areas. By making biology easier to engineer, Ginkgo can help our customers improve efficacy, safety and access to these remarkable medicines.

For cell therapeutics, Ginkgo offers services in three categories, all supported by our industry-leading platform for DNA assembly, agile automation, and high-throughput screening in clinically relevant assays.

  • Novel CAR Designs. Ginkgo has constructed libraries of novel ICDs, ECDs and armoring domains to optimize your CAR’s performance. We can perform pooled CAR screening in primary immune cells, offering both off-the-shelf assays and bespoke application-specific assays.
  • Regulatory Elements. Tissue-specific promoters can improve the efficacy or the safety profile of your cell therapy. Strong and stable expression elements can increase potency. Ginkgo can assemble and screen large libraries of custom regulatory sequences.
  • iPSC Engineering. Ginkgo’s platform can support the development of allogeneic cell therapies as well as more predictive in vitro models. We have extensive experience working with iPSCs coupled by our enabling platform technologies that include promoter screening, safe harbor discovery, directed differentiation optimization, and improved immune evasion strategies.

Combinatorial CAR Engineering at Scale

Taeyoon Kyung, Senior Mammalian Engineer, presented recent results from a foundry project to characterize 10,000 CAR intracellular domains (ICDs). Ginkgo identified multiple designs that outperformed standard CD28-CD3z and 41BB-CD3z designs in a serial tumor rechallenge model for T cell persistence. A range of follow-up assays were presented to characterize CAR4, a high performance design with improved proliferation, killing, and long-term fitness in challenging contexts.

This combinatorial CAR library screen demonstrates the potential of Ginkgo’s automation and design capabilities to deliver best-in-class cell therapeutics across a range of applications. The libraries developed for this project have been screened against suspension, adherent and spheroid target cells. A similar approach can be brought to bear to optimize CAR extracellular and intracellular domains in parallel in any given immune cell type. High throughput DNA synthesis and library assembly can support your R&D efforts across a range of therapeutically relevant synthetic proteins.

What Can Ginkgo’s Cell Therapy Services Do for You?

Ginkgo’s service offerings are well positioned to help R&D teams address a number of common challenges in creating an effective cell therapy: T-cell exhaustion, immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment, antigen escape, cytokine toxicity.

For customers interested in our cell therapy offerings, we offer a range of partnership structures tailored to the scope and needs of your project. A direct evaluation and licensing model is available to put Ginkgo-built tech in your hands today. Alternatively, we can enter into an R&D collaboration to design, build, screen and optimize a cell-based therapeutic specific to your application. Your team will then have the option to evaluate and license the final designs. We look forward to working with you!

Novel Therapies for Hard-To-Treat Diseases with Boehringer Ingelheim

Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim!

Through this partnership, Boehringer Ingelheim will leverage our natural product discovery capabilities. The goal is to accelerate their discovery and development of novel therapeutic molecules to address diseases with high unmet patient needs.

Hundreds of millions of people are living with diseases that to date cannot be cured or are inadequately treated. Breaking through this inertia requires, in many cases, the use of new techniques to act on molecular targets which are exceedingly difficult to address with traditional approaches.

Boehringer Ingelheim will utilize our  metagenomic sequence database. This provides access to a vast reservoir of structurally novel bioactive molecules.This access can potentially enable the rapid identification of lead molecules as starting points for the potential discovery of novel treatments to transform patients’ lives.

Unlocking new possibilities in biopharma innovation

We are well-positioned to help partners like Boehringer Ingelheim complement their drug discovery efforts, particularly when it comes to natural product discovery.

We’ve built one of the broadest and deepest metagenomics databases worldwide, aided by our recent acquisition of Zymergen. The database comprises over three terabases of sequence data and over two billion proprietary protein sequences from a variety of microbes. This creates a unique foundation for the discovery of novel therapeutic molecules.

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Upcoming Presentation at American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

Today we are pleased to announce our participation in the 26th American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting, May 16-20, in Los Angeles.

We will present data on our high-throughput screening platform for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) libraries, which can enable discovery of CAR variants with desired characteristics. This capability has the potential to discover CAR-T therapeutic candidates that are effective against solid tumors.

We are harnessing our ability to generate massive libraries of unique CAR designs with different signaling domains, which can then be screened in an assay that mimics a solid tumor environment. In head-to-head tests of these designs, we are identifying a number of designs that show improved performance compared to designs with standard signaling domains.

We’re excited to present this data to the ASGCT community, especially as this flexible platform is available to partners and can also be used for other applications like natural killer cells.

We recently announced the launch of Ginkgo Cell Therapy Services at our annual Ferment conference.

These services empower customers with massively parallel testing of genetic designs, allowing them to leverage vast biological diversity to improve their products. Our ultra high throughput mammalian cell engineering foundry is well suited to address many outstanding problems in cell therapy, including CAR-T. We are actively developing high throughput platforms to enhance CAR efficacy and safety by exploring novel construct designs and incorporating synthetic regulatory elements like inducible promoters. In addition to CAR optimization, Cell Therapy Services include immune cell armoring, synthetic promoters, immune cloaking and novel gene editing tools.

You can learn more at Ginkgo’s Cell Therapy Services Virtual Event on May 31. Register here.

What will you grow with Ginkgo?