March 14, 2022 PR-M03-22-05
BOSTON and BASEL, Switzerland – Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced the entry into a definitive agreement to acquire FGen AG ("FGen"), a Swiss company specializing in strain development and optimization. FGen has developed an ultra-high-throughput (uHT) screening platform built on nanoliter reactor technology. Ginkgo believes that FGen's technology will significantly enhance Ginkgo's cell screening capabilities and enable Ginkgo to explore wider expanses of genetic opportunity space, increasing the likelihood of finding enzymes, pathways, and strains or cell lines that perform to diverse product specifications.
Ginkgo and FGen plan to close the transaction promptly. Post-closing, Ginkgo expects that the integration of FGen's platform can greatly increase the capacity of Ginkgo's Design-Build-Test-Learn strain development engine, a foundation of Ginkgo's technology stack. By adding FGen's uHT screening platform to its existing HT screening systems, Ginkgo seeks to be able to routinely analyze the performance of millions of genetic prototypes in pooled format, upgrading the quality of candidate hits that feed into downstream workflows for strain characterization and validation. FGen's platform is extremely flexible across organisms, pathways, and target products. The platform can be deployed to screen for both intracellular and secreted target products as well as both small molecules and proteins. It can also accommodate diverse organisms including bacteria, yeast, filamentous species, and mammalian cells.
"Ginkgo is committed to investing in creating the premier cell programming platform by integrating best-in-class tools from around the world and deploying them broadly across our programs," said Barry Canton, Ginkgo's co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. "We have worked with the FGen team for several years and believe their technology and world-class scientists will allow us to further improve our ability to explore an exponentially wider design space and deliver more value for our customers."
"Our team has spent the last decade building one of the most advanced screening platforms in the world in the hopes of enabling breakthrough discoveries and products across industries," said Andreas Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of FGen. "We are excited to be welcomed onto the Ginkgo platform where we can deploy this technology much more broadly and better support customers and their world-changing work."
Under the terms of the transaction, FGen will receive upfront payment and additional contingent consideration related to, among other things, the successful integration and deployment of the FGen technology across Ginkgo programs.
About FGen AG
FGen is a Swiss start-up company founded 2011 in Basel, Switzerland as a spin-off from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of the ETH Zurich. As a contract research organization we collaborate with partners from Biotech, Life Sciences, Agribusiness, and Pharma in order to develop microbes, cells, chemicals, and proteins for various applications. For more information, visit www.fgen.ch.
Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding its expectations that the transaction will close promptly, the potential success of the acquisition and Ginkgo's cell programming platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this document, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of the business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on November 15, 2021 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.
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Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.