Producing Novel Proteins to Control Ice in Extreme Cold Weather Environments with DARPA

Ginkgo has been awarded a contract for up to $6 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to achieve DARPA’s objectives under its new Ice Control for cold Environments (ICE) program.

DARPA’s ICE program aims to develop new materials that control the physical properties of ice crystals to facilitate operations in extreme cold weather environments, which can pose a variety of risks to both personnel health and critical equipment. To meet this goal, Ginkgo, in collaboration with Netrias, Cambium, and consultant Dr. Ran Drori, aims to develop novel biologically-sourced and inspired materials that leverage biological adaptations to cold environments.

The Ginkgo team will work to enable the sustainable production of novel de-icing proteins with ice-modulating behaviors to improve operational efficacy in extreme cold weather environments.

These materials will be designed with the goal of meeting U.S. Department of Defense specifications and could potentially be used in solutions with broad commercial applications. One such application could be a lens coating to prevent frost formation for a range of optics applications from satellites and high altitude imaging instruments to security and wildlife cameras. The aviation and automobile industries could also benefit from de-icing products that facilitate safe operations in icy conditions. Furthermore, a topical frostbite prevention product could be developed for outdoor enthusiasts. If successful, these solutions could impact high value and consumer markets and facilitate replacement of current environmentally harmful de-icing agents.

The team plans to leverage Ginkgo Protein Services to design, screen, and optimize a library of novel proteins that demonstrate ice-modulating behaviors.

Ginkgo will design a library of proteins using metagenomic discovery and de novo computational design to source known, naturally occurring ice-modulating behavior proteins. During the discovery phase, predictive models will be used to iterate Design–Build–Test–Optimize loops, maximizing discovery of proteins with ice inhibition, induction, and low-adhesion properties. Throughout the process, Ginkgo will selectively screen promising proteins with further high-performance, application-specific characterization to inform the final down selection.

We are honored to be selected by DARPA to work on this program to facilitate sustained cold weather operations.

Building high-throughput libraries of candidate proteins is possible thanks to Ginkgo’s unique and differentiated data assets. Biology offers us a myriad of ways to adapt to our environment, and synthetic biology allows us to tap into nature’s capabilities and apply them to our own needs. We look forward to the products that the ICE program generates, which may enable enhanced safety and proficiency across various use cases.

To learn more about Ginkgo Protein Services, please visit

If you are interested in working with Ginkgo for the public sector, check out our Offerings for Governments page.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Producing Animal-Free Non-Whey Dairy Proteins with Imagindairy


Today we’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with Imagindairy!

Together, we aim to deliver a global solution for animal-free non-whey dairy protein production in a highly cost-effective manner.

  • This collaboration will leverage Ginkgo Protein Expression Services and Imagindairy’s process development and scale-up expertise to accelerate the development of functional non-whey dairy proteins.
  • This is a multi-year program, funded in part by a joint grant from the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Imagindairy envisions a cutting-edge transition in the dairy industry that preserves the flavor, functionality and experience of dairy without relying on cows. Imagindairy combines its proprietary AI platform with the age-old art of precision fermentation and uses microorganisms to create sustainable, scalable dairy proteins, without sacrificing quality, flavor, or nutritional value. With access to its own fully operational production lines, a first in the industry, Imagindairy is able to produce cost-effective dairy proteins at scale.

Imagindairy and Ginkgo have partnered to design an optimized organism capable of cost-effectively producing non-whey dairy proteins. This will allow Imagindairy to remain focused on whey protein production and commercialization while accelerating time to market of non-whey proteins. In tandem, Ginkgo will utilize its AI and high throughput Foundry capabilities to engineer biological systems for improved production economics and functionality. Imagindairy will then develop the production process and perform scale-up and manufacturing of these proteins, marking a significant milestone in their mission to provide a full range of high-quality, animal-free dairy proteins to food producers.

“Ginkgo has firmly established itself in the alternative dairy and food proteins industry, showcasing our leadership in protein and organism engineering. We have many successful collaborations in this space, and we’re thrilled to get to work with Imagindairy on this innovative and market relevant project. We’re also honored to be recognized by the BIRD Foundation. Being awarded this highly competitive grant is a testament to our technical expertise and ability to accomplish this project with Imagindairy. I can speak for the entire team when I say that the samples that Imagindairy have shared are absolutely next-level. If the rest of their pipeline is anything like what we’ve tasted, we can’t wait to try what’s next.”

Jennifer Wipf, Chief Commercial Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks

“We’re proud of this acknowledgment by the BIRD Foundation, as it highlights the importance of further innovation in the alternative proteins field, and our capability to successfully execute this project. Our process development capabilities and industrial-scale precision fermentation lines will allow us to rapidly scale the optimized strains created with Ginkgo and bring innovative non-whey proteins to the market faster. We’re deeply impressed by Ginkgo’s work in the foodtech industry and look forward to collaborating with them on the project. We’re confident this collaboration will unlock further product offerings, providing consumers with additional animal-free dairy delights that match the cost and taste of traditional dairy, making significant contributions to the industry, consumers, and the world.”

Eyal Afergan, Co-Founder & CEO at Imagindairy

To learn more about Ginkgo Protein Expression Services, please visit

Vivici Selects Ginkgo Bioworks to Extend Their Range of Novel Dairy Proteins

Today, we’re thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Vivici!

Vivici is an innovative B2B ingredients startup company using precision fermentation to make animal-free dairy proteins. Through this collaboration, Vivici will leverage Ginkgo’s extensive capabilities in strain engineering, optimization and performance, to develop and commercialize a next generation of functional alternative protein.

Alternative Dairy Protein Production with Precision Fermentation

Vivici is on a mission to meet the world’s growing need for sustainable, nutritious and great tasting proteins. Recognizing the need for alternatives to traditional animal agriculture, Vivici employs precision fermentation techniques to produce animal-free dairy proteins with microorganisms. This innovative approach not only supplements the existing animal protein supply, but also paves the way for a more sustainable food system in the future.

Ginkgo’s Tech Solution: Strain Development at Foundry Scale

Ginkgo plans to support Vivici by delivering optimized strains for dairy protein production via precision fermentation. We intend to design and build an integrated library, screen for strains with the best protein expression, validate and grow the most promising hits, and then transfer the top performing strains to Vivici for evaluation. The aim is for these strains to enable optimal protein expression, superior functionality, and commercial-level titers.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ginkgo. Ginkgo’s scale and AI-driven approach to designing strains for protein expression is a differentiated offering. We are confident in Ginkgo’s capabilities to provide efficient, scalable strains that can support Vivici’s speed to market.”

Stephan van Sint Fiet, Vivici CEO

We’re so excited to support Vivici in its vision of meeting growing demand for animal-free protein alternatives. We’re here to help Vivici deliver on the promise that precision fermentation can lead to planet-friendly nutrition. We believe our speed and experience with dairy protein development, ultra high throughput screening, and fermentation scale-up can enable Vivici to successfully expand their current protein portfolio and bring new solutions to market. We’re eager to help Vivici enter the market as a provider of sustainable and nutritious animal-free protein solutions to a wide range of customers.

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Protein Expression Services Q&A

Sneha Srikrishnan, Director of Growth, Business Development at Ginkgo Bioworks, is here to answer your burning questions around our new offerings in protein expression!

This conversation was moderated by Annick Saralegui, Senior Marketing, Growth Specialist at Ginkgo.

To kick things off, tell me, what does Ginkgo have to offer for customers developing proteins?

Sneha Srikrishnan: This is super exciting! So we have four different modules of work that we would like to repeatedly use to help our customers in protein expression wherever they are in the R&D cycle. The 4 include:

  • Host evaluation: evaluate and compare your host strain with our suite of hosts
  • Strain optimization: optimize your strain with genome modifications for better quality, functionality, and titer
  • Classical strain improvement: use non-GM approaches to push titers higher 
  • Scale + fermentation: access our pilot and commercial scale fermentation facilities to increase production efficiency all in-house

For the first module, host evaluation, does this mean I can bring my own strain to Ginkgo? If I’ve spent a few long-and-hard years designing a host, can Ginkgo work with my strain?

Certainly! We can now engineer customer strains as much as we can engineer Ginkgo chassis strains. So that’s number one. 

And what that means is, if our customers have strains that they really like and they enjoy using, bring it to us! We can improve on it and help them get to higher titers, provide better functionality, and even improve on process media optimizations or process development for those strains.

In the early days at Ginkgo, we were more comfortable just working with Ginkgo strain backgrounds and now we’ve opened doors to customer strain backgrounds. And why? Because we recognize that our customers have put a lot of time and effort into their R&D and their strain backgrounds and have invested in CapEx to build processes that go along with their strains. So instead of backtracking and eliminating the body of work that’s already been invested in, we can add to it.

Let’s say I’m not too sure what strain I should use, mine or Ginkgo’s. Can Ginkgo help me make the right call to reach my goals? 

Yes. We can now perform host strain comparisons – early on. 

That means if anyone is starting early on and doesn’t know whether to invest in a fungal strain background which is filamentous in nature, like a Trichoderma or an Aspergillus, versus say a Pichia we have, we’ll run in a host evaluation body of work, which is very quick.

It can be run within six weeks, maximum eight weeks, to provide a high level feedback on whether Pichia or the others have better better titers and are able to be a good match for being a production organism. So it gives you quick feedback and this can help with early stage GRAS filing.

Let’s say I’m a prospective customer and I’d like early access to a protein sample. Is this something Ginkgo offers?

Yes, that’s very new!  If anybody wants protein samples to try and test for functionality during a strain engineering program, we’re willing to provide them with samples. These can be generated from ambr250 system fermentations or from 5L fermentations or even higher.  

What I’ll also mention is Ginkgo has invested in building out our scaling facilities so that we can even run strains at a commercial scale. Why is this important for the protein world? 

Under one roof, we have the ability of generating up to 10 grams of sample, if not at the kilogram scale when run at 3000 liters.

It can all be done in-house and this is very exciting because our partners can essentially receive samples, do some functionality testing, and if there’s anything to be changed from the same strain background to meet specs, we will now be able to fix the strain and not lose time in the process. So it’s time gained. 

What’s so special about Ginkgo’s strain assets especially for, as an example, alternative food protein production? 

I’m excited because we have developed cutting-edge strains for very special and complex, hard-to-engineer proteins such as iron-bound proteins. We’ve spent a lot of time determining how to modify the strains’ post-processing folding machinery in order to improve the titer and functionality of proteins.

So we’ve basically created a suite of strain backgrounds that can accommodate multi-copy integrations and codon optimization. We also have proprietary synthetic promoter systems that will allow for tunable and controllable expression which are not methanol-based. So methanol-free is based on simple carbon sources, which have very good COGS in terms of raw material usage.

We also have synthetic secretion signals for secreted protein. If you want to keep it intracellular, we can keep it intracellular and we’ve also developed a suite of strains which have unique helper genes or co-expression genes such as chaperones and protease knockouts.

Why is this important? Because we figured out ways in which the helper genes will help, post-translation, to package the proteins and help translate them across the ER, and then across the cell wall.

Essentially, we have identified unique ways to not just produce a protein but also to keep it stable once it’s secreted.

So all of this can be done in short spans of time. We have examples where we’ve run dairy-protein type projects. The first time we generated these strains, we invested close to 15 months worth of pre-work to generate the strains.

Because of the pre-work we invested, When we partnered with clients that needed iron-bound proteins, we were able to get from a single digit gram per liter, very quickly up to in the range of 5+ gram per liter scale for dairy protein within six months, which is significant time savings.

Can I test for functionality with Ginkgo?

We have some capability to test functionality within Ginkgo for a subset of samples. And if we are unable to run those functionality screens in-house, we have partnerships set up where we could be outsourcing to our partners for functionality screens for food proteins.

Assays such as iron binding can be done within Ginkgo.

Antimicrobial activity can be done within Ginkgo other more specific assays such as: melting temperatures, aggregation temperatures can also be done at Ginkgo. If there are more specific assays required, we can outsource to our partners.

I’m a prospective customer and have heard of EncapS and ALE.  EncapS for Encapsulation & Screening and ALE for Adaptive Laboratory Evolution. Can you explain that a bit more and how I can leverage those services for my project?

The EncapS strategy would normally work if you have a strain that’s already making something. If you have a strain that’s making a product of interest or a protein of interest, and it’s making a very small amount of the protein and you want to get to multifold improvements very quickly, then go with EncapS.  So with EncapS, what we can do is when you are already at reasonable titer in the gram per liter range, we can increase titers by 20, 30 percent or sometimes even reach 50 percent improvement.

We can run multiple rounds of classical mutagenesis or generate a library of semi-rational mutants. That semi-rational mutant library can then be quickly screened through encapsulated cells within nanoliter beads. And we can screen over 1 million clones in a single round.

Why is this useful? because when you screen for a million clones you can quickly get titer improvement jumps.

EncapS can also help you achieve better strain productivity.

We will essentially not just look for a high protein titer, but we’ll look for improved productivity.  So we’ll directly read out for secreted protein, as well as the biomass.

Why is this good? Because you not only want to have high titer, you also want to have decent microbial growth. Otherwise your fermentation will be challenging. So if you want to have good productivity, you look for both good biomass and good protein titer. The EncapS method can help you look for both.

Now, where does ALE come into picture, if you want to switch carbon sources?

So let’s say that you have a strain that is going to grow on waste material and you want to circularize the process. You want to do waste valorization and you want to pick up C5 sugars in addition to C6 sugars. Then ALE is a great way to change the carbon preference or to open out the carbon preference as an example for the organism that’s already making something of your interest.

If you’re looking for change or improvement in the growth rate specifically then it can be considered. That’s how I would use it.

Enzyme Discovery and Engineering at Foundry Scale

Ginkgo Ferment 2023, Platform Presentation:

Ginkgo’s Head of Protein Engineering, Emily Wrenbeck, PhD, shares how our foundry makes it possible to generate valuable data that drives enzyme discovery and optimization.

Watch the full presentation here or read below for a summary.

At Ginkgo, we understand the value of data in biological engineering.

We source natural libraries of proteins through public and proprietary sequence databases. And we’ve built a broad computational protein design toolkit that includes classic methods like molecular dynamics and Rosetta. We also use the latest AI models for protein predictions, including AlphaFold and EVcouplings. Our Protein Production Services allow us to take a supervised machine learning approach to protein design, which means we train models directly on the experimental data that we generate in the process.

What does all of this look like in practice? Here’s an example: 

  • A customer asked Ginkgo to optimize an enzyme that was critical to their project. The challenge? The enzyme was known to be difficult to engineer, due to its recalcitrant nature and unsolved reaction mechanism. In this case, traditional rational protein engineering approaches were not feasible.
  • To tackle this problem, Ginkgo opted for a data-driven approach to protein design. We engaged in four rounds of Design, Build, Test, and Learn. In the early rounds, we used a design toolkit with sequence-based, self-supervised model active sign mutagenesis and Rosetta docking to explore the sequence to activity relationship of the protein.
  • In the successive rounds, we fed all the data into our platform to train models and build designs. The library sizes in the final round were able to realize a big leap in performance with a rather small library. As the models are given more data, they get more predictive, enabling us to hit our goals in a much more focused way.
  • The outcome of this approach was a tenfold improvement over the starting enzyme. Our data-driven approach proved to be effective, even for a challenging enzyme that was not amenable to traditional protein engineering techniques.

This case study highlights the importance of how data enables breakthroughs in biological engineering. It also shows the power of a platform approach that combines state-of-the-art AI and computational tools with a data generation engine.

By investing in data generation and computational tools, we can push the boundaries of what is possible in protein design and engineering.

We’d love to add your enzyme to our growing list and help design and engineer it to fit your needs. Learn more about our Ginkgo Enzyme Services today!

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

High Performing Microbes for Protein Production with Cambrium

High performance protein production

Today, we are pleased to announce the successful completion of our collaboration with Cambrium, a leading German start-up focused on the application of generative AI to protein design and synthesis. Through our partnership, we combined our capabilities to enable the rapid and cost-effective design of high performing, industrially relevant microbes for protein production.

Almost 2 years ago, Cambrium and FGen, a subsidiary of Ginkgo, now known as Ginkgo’s Encapsulation and Screening team, announced a partnership to push the boundaries of data-driven metabolic engineering. Combining FGen’s expertise in microbial strain development and ultra high-throughput screening techniques with Cambrium’s Cloud Protein AI platform, the collaboration screened a vast quantity of cells to optimize their protein production.

Using our ultra high-throughput screening capabilities and nanoliter-reactor technology, we were able to generate a vast quantity of data linked to specific phenotypes to feed the machine learning algorithms. By partnering with Cambrium, we were able to design a novel concept of strain engineering.

Our collaboration allowed scientists to map experimental data to in silico models, generating strain optimization insights and enabling faster convergence towards high performance protein production. It also enabled the isolation of novel cell lines which produced enhanced levels of high-value proteins. Through the collaboration, we were able to identify non-obvious engineering targets to significantly improve strain performance. In particular, the results show that even with limited genome edits, it is possible to achieve significant increases across critical performance metrics in iterative fermentation cycles. With these advances, our partnership developed more efficient and cost-effective biomanufacturing methods for both companies and our partners.

“Partnering with FGen, and then Ginkgo, was a natural move to generate an immense amount of data to feed our AI algorithms,” said Dr. Charlie Cotton, Chief Science Officer of Cambrium. “By leveraging our respective strengths, we gained extremely valuable insights for both strain engineering and product optimization.”

Get in touch with the Ginkgo team today to discuss your R&D challenges!

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

High Throughput Screening for Designing Novel CAR-T Cell Therapies

Pooled screening platform for discovering the next generation of CARs

Image of a poster containing CAR-T data

Ginkgo is proud to present a poster this Friday, November 11 at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). The poster highlights our Foundry-enabled methods for large-scale, combinatorial library design and screening of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) domains for improved persistence. The ability to screen hundreds of thousands of CAR designs in primary human T cells can enable discovery of variants with desired characteristics. This capability has the potential to discover CAR-T therapies that are effective against solid tumors.

CAR-T cell therapies show tremendous promise for the treatment of cancer. But so far, their use has been limited to targeting blood cancers, as CAR-T has failed to show consistent efficacy in treating solid tumors, which represent approximately 90% of adult human cancers. Part of the challenge when applying CAR-T therapies to solid tumors lies in T cell exhaustion, a state of dysfunction arising from excessive antigen stimulation in the immunosuppressive environment of a solid tumor.

Therapeutic outcomes of CAR-T cell therapies—including CAR-T persistence—correspond to T cell behaviors driven by signaling cascades that are triggered by the intracellular domains (ICD) of CARs. Until now, technical constraints in high throughput screening have made the systematic design and testing of novel ICD combinations that drive more favorable T cell phenotypes onerous. New data we are presenting at SITC will demonstrate that our high throughput screening method enables massively parallel testing of CAR designs and has led to the discovery of new ICD combinations that outperform the canonical CD28-CD3z and 4-1BB-CD3z combinations.

Discovering next generation CAR-T cell therapies

Our platform for cell programming enables synthesis and screening of diverse libraries of genetic constructs to explore biological space. Applying these capabilities to the design of CARs enables screening of hundreds of thousands of possible combinatorial variants of different CAR ICDs. The data we will present at SITC will show how this method could be used to screen for variants with increased persistence in a serial tumor rechallenge assay. As an enabling platform company, we can leverage our full stack of mammalian cell engineering expertise and capabilities to enable the high throughput screening of CAR-T cells to discover and optimize next generation therapeutic candidates for our partners.

While innovation in CAR-T cell therapies continues to grow at a dramatic pace, CAR-T is still a relatively new modality whose potential is just beginning to be fully explored. With large scale screening and automation, we have created a tool we believe can dramatically expand the variety and functionality of CAR domains so that our partners can build therapies targeted for particular tumor environments.

“We’ve only seen a small sliver of what revolutionary modalities like CAR-T can achieve in terms of patient outcomes. Being able to explore broader design space for this powerful technology can help unlock new potential in solid tumor treatment, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and beyond.” said Arie Belldegrun, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Allogene Therapeutics and Kite Therapeutics and member of the Board of Directors for Ginkgo Bioworks. “The scale of Ginkgo’s platform helps to enable discovery and innovation in this important arena.”

You can view our poster at SITC. To register, visit

Presentation details:

Date & Time: Friday, November 11, 2022 at 9 am – 8:30 pm, EST
Title: Pooled screening platform for discovering the next generation Chimeric Antigen Receptors
Presenting Author: Taeyoon Kyung, PhD, Senior Mammalian Engineer, Ginkgo Bioworks
Poster Number: 242

Click here to speak with our team and learn more about leveraging our platform.

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Developing Water Quality Biosensors with FREDSense

Ginkgo’s strain development capabilities to help develop advanced biosensors

Today, we’re excited to announce our partnership with FREDsense Technologies Corp, a next generation water quality platform company leveraging synthetic biology to build field kits for faster, cheaper, and more efficient analysis. Through this partnership, we seek to build four distinct microbial strain biosensors, compatible with FREDsense’s field-ready hardware for remote water quality monitoring applications.

Demand for scalable monitoring and testing systems has increased, as water quality becomes an ever-growing environmental and public health concern. Conventional water quality test results are often delayed, since samples must be transported to labs for chemical analysis. FREDsense builds portable solutions to efficiently assess the chemicals in the water at the source. This allows for rapid modification of water treatment processes in real-time without the need for external lab equipment.

Supporting real-time field detection of harmful molecules and toxins in any water source

The biosensors in development by Ginkgo aim to support real-time field detection of harmful molecules, and may be used to generate solutions for groundwater and industrial water management systems.

Partnering with FREDsense is an exciting opportunity to apply our strain development capabilities to powerful biosensor technology for an important application. Protecting our water sources is a mission critical initiative: life on this planet as we know it depends on it. We’re eager to work toward enhancing the capabilities of FREDsense’s platform to monitor for harmful contaminants in water.

“Water is our most critical resource, and we now have the technology to detect in real-time many of the threats or contaminants that can impact the water that our environments and communities depend on,” says David Lloyd, CEO of FREDsense. “Through this partnership with Ginkgo, we aim to introduce rapid, simple and accurate testing to deliver water quality monitoring systems to those that most need it. We believe that synthetic biology is the key to solving some of the biggest challenges facing the water industry globally and are very excited to partner with Ginkgo on this vision.”

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

What will you grow with Ginkgo?

Developing Next-Generation Gene Therapy Capsids with Selecta Biosciences

Selecta Biosciences intends to use Ginkgo’s cell programming platform to develop next-gen gene therapies using AAV capsids.

Gene therapy is one of the newest wave of treatments for many rare or orphaned diseases. However, current methods often result in unwanted immune responses.

What if you could grow the newest generation of therapies for human disease?

Together with Selecta Biosciences, Ginkgo is launching a collaboration to develop safer and more effective next-generation gene therapy adeno-associated viral capsids. Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are a type of gene delivery vector system. But several obstacles, including how these viruses interact with the immune system (immunogenicity), how well they can get into the cells (tropism), and how well they get DNA into the cells’ genomes (transduction efficiency), must still be overcome before fully realizing the AAV vector systems for many patient treatments. There are many types of AAVs, and they each work differently in different tissues, partially because of variations in the capsid–the protein coat of the virus.

The partnership with Selecta leverages the unique platforms of both companies as we seek to develop next-generation viral capsids with improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism, and reduced immunogenicity. Ginkgo plans to design and engineer the capsids, and Selecta will conduct all pre-clinical and clinical studies thereafter.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Ginkgo in a second collaboration that leverages Ginkgo’s leading cell engineering platform to design viral vector capsids with the goal of improved transduction, enhanced tissue tropism and reduced immunogenicity” said Carsten Brunn, CEO of Selecta Biosciences. “By combining ImmTOR with next-generation, fit-for-purpose AAV vectors, we hope to further improve the safety and efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapies.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Ginkgo is eligible to earn upfront research and development fees and milestone payments, including certain milestone payments in the form of Selecta common stock. In addition, Ginkgo is eligible to earn clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $200 million in cash for each of a specified number of products, which have the potential to total, in the aggregate, up to $1.1 billion. Ginkgo is also entitled to potential further downstream value in the form of royalties on sales.

Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo, added, “Gene therapies utilize naturally occurring viral capsids that elicit immune responses and often exhibit safety and toxicity issues. We believe our collaboration with Selecta has the potential to confront major challenges within the gene therapy space and represents an important application of our cell programming platform. We look forward to executing on our shared vision and offering a potential solution for challenges in gene therapies that prevent treatment for millions of patients.”

Read the full press release here.

Improving the Manufacture of Biosynthetic Heparin with Optimvia

Optimvia will leverage Ginkgo’s cell and enzyme engineering platform as well as its fermentation process development expertise to improve the manufacture of biosynthetic heparin.

Heparin is a life-saving drug that prevents blood clots and is classified as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization. In addition to acting as an anticoagulant, it is important in treating a great number of medical issues, including adult respiratory distress syndrome, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Currently, however, it is isolated from animal sources, mostly pig or cattle, which are limited by livestock availability.

What if you could grow life-saving medicines on demand?

Optimvia is a biotechnology company specializing in engineering enzymes and their cofactors to synthesize complex therapeutic molecules. Ginkgo’s platform serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biotechnology, including partnerships to improve manufacturing processes and strengthen supply chains of key medicines. Producing non-animal derived heparin on Ginkgo’s platform is intended to be the proof of principle for Optimvia’s technology for the synthesis of sulfated glycans.

Enabling enzymatic manufacturing could create supply chain diversity and reduce or eliminate the need for high volume extraction of heparin from porcine intestines.

“The goal of producing biosynthetic heparin is similar to Genentech’s famous breakthrough of creating insulin through recombinant cell-based methods as opposed to relying on extraction from pig pancreas,” said Keith Kleeman, CEO, Optimvia. “We believe that combining Optimvia’s novel technology and Ginkgo’s capabilities will enable commercially viable, cost effective and safe biosynthetic heparin that could eliminate the world’s dependence on livestock sourced heparin entirely.”

Under this partnership, Optimvia seeks to leverage Ginkgo’s cell and enzyme engineering platform, as well as its fermentation process development expertise, to rapidly improve the performance of Optimvia’s biosynthetic heparin manufacturing technology.

“Ginkgo’s platform helps emerging startups develop and optimize their products and reach commercial scale,” said Ginkgo CEO Jason Kelly. “We’re pleased to welcome Optimvia as the newest member in our ecosystem. We believe scalable synthetic heparin could introduce much needed resiliency to the drug supply chain, improve access to this essential medicine, and reduce our dependence on industrial animal agriculture.”

Read the full press release here.