BOSTON and ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a specialized technical institution of the African Union, and Ginkgo Bioworks, which is building the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a partnership to bolster the laboratory network capacity for African Union Member States.
The partnership is aimed at supporting the continent's public health institutions with appropriate tools, training, and data infrastructure to leverage critical genomic sequencing technologies that will be implemented through Africa CDC Institute for Pathogen Genomics (IPG) and Ginkgo Bioworks.
Ginkgo, which recently announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: SRNG), is using its automated biotechnology tools to support the fight against COVID-19 and build long-term biosecurity infrastructure in an effort to prevent future pandemics.
The IPG was established in 2019 to support public health pathogen genomics and bioinformatics activities in Africa. Through Africa CDC's Regional Collaboration Centers (RCCs) and its Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network (RISLNET), this institute facilitates close relationships with African National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs), academic institutions, private and public laboratories, and centers of excellence to support prevention, rapid detection, and response to current and emerging public health threats.
"Today's collaboration is part of Africa CDC's mission to build a resilient health system that can be called on to fight multiple diseases. The partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks will further infuse regional laboratory networks across the continent with best practices in the cutting-edge fields of automation, data analysis and bioinformatics, and ultimately, save lives," Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC noted.
In consultation with Africa CDC, Ginkgo Bioworks will assess existing automation, data analysis and bioinformatics capabilities across the continent. Ginkgo will then plan to work with RCCs to develop a training framework in automation, data analysis and bioinformatics. This information will be used to expand throughput throughout the continental network and inform African Union Member States' investments in automation and additional lab capacity. This initial partnership goes into effect today for a three-year term.
"COVID-19 has made clear the importance of building systems that enable communities to understand the biology around them and respond to it," said Jason Kelly, CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. "Throughout this response, we've applied our platform to support widespread testing and improved bio-surveillance, and we're honored to partner with Africa CDC as we aim to limit the impact of this pandemic and protect against future pandemics."
About Africa CDC
Africa CDC is a specialised technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa's public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes. Learn more at: www.africacdc.org
About Ginkgo Bioworks
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. In May 2021, Ginkgo announced a business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRNG), which, if completed, will result in Ginkgo, through a parent entity, Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings, Inc., becoming a public company. The extraordinary general meeting of Soaring Eagle's shareholders in connection with the transaction has been scheduled for September 14, 2021 and the transaction is expected to close shortly thereafter, subject to customary closing conditions. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.
About the African Union
The African Union is a continental body that leads Africa's development and integration in close collaboration with the 55 Member States, the Regional Economic Communities and African citizens. The vision of African Union is to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, playing a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable, efficient and responsive Commission. Learn more at: http://www.au.int/en
ADDITIONAL LEGAL INFORMATION
Forward-Looking Statements Legend
This document contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws with respect to the proposed transaction between Ginkgo and Soaring Eagle, including statements regarding the anticipated timing of the transaction, the services offered by Ginkgo and the markets in which it operates, and Ginkgo's projected future results. 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 risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of Soaring Eagle's securities, (ii) the risk that the transaction may not be completed by Soaring Eagle's business combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the business combination deadline if sought by Soaring Eagle, (iii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the transaction, including the adoption of the agreement and plan of merger by the shareholders of Soaring Eagle and Ginkgo, the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following redemptions by Soaring Eagle's public shareholders and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals, (iv) the lack of a third party valuation in determining whether or not to pursue the proposed transaction, (v) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the agreement and plan of merger, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the transaction on Ginkgo business relationships, performance, and business generally, (vii) risks that the proposed transaction disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo employee retention as a result of the proposed transaction, (viii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo or against Soaring Eagle related to the agreement and plan of merger or the proposed transaction, (ix) the ability to maintain the listing of Soaring Eagle's securities on Nasdaq, (x) volatility in the price of Soaring Eagle's securities 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, (xi) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the proposed transaction, and identify and realize additional opportunities, and (xii) 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 Soaring Eagle's proxy statement/prospectus relating to the transaction (the "Proxy Statement"), and in Soaring Eagle's other filings with the SEC. Soaring Eagle and Ginkgo caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. Soaring Eagle and Ginkgo caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Neither Soaring Eagle nor Ginkgo undertake or accept any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
This document relates to a proposed transaction between Ginkgo and Soaring Eagle. This document does not constitute an offer to sell or exchange, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or exchange, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or exchange would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. In connection with the proposed transaction, Soaring Eagle filed a Proxy Statement on August 13, 2021. The Proxy Statement has been sent to all Soaring Eagle shareholders as of the record date of August 10, 2021. Soaring Eagle also will file other documents regarding the proposed transaction with the SEC. Before making any voting decision, investors and security holders of Soaring Eagle and Ginkgo are urged to read the registration statement, the proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction as they become available because they will contain important information about the proposed transaction.
Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC by Soaring Eagle through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. In addition, the documents filed by Soaring Eagle may be obtained free of charge by written request to Soaring Eagle at 955 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10075, Attention: Eli Baker, Chief Financial Officer, (310) 209-7280.
Participants in Solicitation
Soaring Eagle and Ginkgo and their respective directors and officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Soaring Eagle's shareholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about Soaring Eagle's directors and executive officers and their ownership of Soaring Eagle's securities is set forth in Soaring Eagle's filings with the SEC. To the extent that holdings of Soaring Eagle's securities have changed since the amounts printed in Soaring Eagle's proxy statement, such changes have been or will be reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding the interests of those persons and other persons who may be deemed participants in the proposed transaction may be obtained by reading the proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction when it becomes available. You may obtain free copies of these documents as described in the preceding paragraph.
SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks