Next Generation Antibiotics

Overview

What if synthetic biology and a genome mining platform could unlock the next-generation of therapeutics? Together with Roche, we are developing investigational medicines designed to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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A NEW CLASS OF ANTIBIOTICS

Antibiotic resistance is a growing worldwide problem, endangering thousands of people across the globe and threatening modern medicine. Annually, over 700,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant infections. The United Nations projects that this figure could reach 10 million by 2050 (United Nations IAGC, 2019). Through our collaboration with Roche, a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives, Ginkgo is focused on discovering new potential classes of antibacterials. Our method is to mine bacterial genomes for novel pathways, and then engineer these pathways to produce molecules that we can test for antibacterial activity. Our partnership will allow Roche to advance the most successful of these molecules.

 

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LEVERAGING GINKGO'S PLATFORM

The integration of our genome mining platform with Ginkgo’s state of the art sequencing capabilities, extensive biological codebase, bioinformatics and machine learning tools for gene discovery and strain engineering expertise brings forth unprecedented power to accelerate the search for new therapeutics, including next-generation antibiotics. The genomic database includes more than 135,000 bacterial strains. These strains have the potential to encode more than four million biosynthetic gene clusters, which can be used not only for the discovery of novel antibiotics and other therapeutics, but also for applications across food, agriculture and fragrances.

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GENOMICS-BASED DISCOVERY

Our genome mining platform enables access to valuable natural products that have previously gone undiscovered due to historical technology limitations. The company’s proprietary genomic search engine combs databases of microbial genomes to reveal those “hidden” natural products that cannot be detected under normal laboratory conditions. We believe this deep expertise in genomics-based natural products discovery may be the key to unlocking new products that can help combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

The discovery of next-generation antibiotics is being powered by Ginkgo Bioworks. For more information, visit roche.com.