BOSTON, June 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Ginkgo Bioworks announced the launch of Concentric by Ginkgo, a pandemic response program intended to create capacity for large-scale testing for SARS-CoV-2 for use by businesses and educational organizations. Ginkgo's launch of Concentric follows a recent $70MM investment from Illumina and other investors. As part of this program, Concentric will provide end-to-end, on-site testing services designed for businesses and educational organizations that seek to make testing available to their communities.
Concentric by Ginkgo is built on the idea that everybody's health is connected and that many layers of public health response are necessary to predict, understand, control, and eventually end a pandemic. Testing is a major pillar of such a response; public health experts have argued that increased testing capacity is critical for enabling informed public health decisions and contact tracing programs. While national capacity has grown significantly in recent weeks, there is still a large, unmet need for more testing – experts believe millions of tests per day are needed for the United States to slow the spread and eventually, to contain COVID-19. A number of private businesses and educational organizations are interested in assisting public health efforts by initiating testing programs within their own populations, in an effort to protect both those tested and those they interact with in the community at large.
Ginkgo's next-generation sequencing (NGS) equipment can read, process and analyze many DNA and RNA samples in parallel on one machine. Ginkgo continues to develop large-scale testing capacity based on NGS and is working toward obtaining an Emergency Use Authorization for a COVID-19 test for its CLIA certified laboratory. At the present time, to serve current reopening needs of businesses and educational organizations, Concentric by Ginkgo will work with other CLIA-certified labs offering RT-PCR based tests to make on-site testing programs available immediately. For organizations seeking to create testing options for their employees or students as part of a reopening and sustained operations strategy, capacity is currently available through Concentric and its supporting labs.
"This pandemic is far from over, and as we continue to grow our synthetic biology platform, making some of our tools available for pandemic response is absolutely the right thing to do," said Matt McKnight, chief commercial officer of Ginkgo Bioworks. "Our goal is to process at least half a million tests per day in our lab by the end of the year. Building a testing program of this size, speed, and throughput is a massive undertaking, critical not just for the COVID-19 response but for our ability to be better prepared for future health crises."
Ginkgo will continue to build and expand its foundries that enable cell programming projects across a number of different industries alongside the development of testing capacity in its CLIA-certified lab through Concentric. To learn more about partnering with Concentric by Ginkgo to support your organization's COVID-19 testing strategy, visit concentricbyginkgo.com.
About Ginkgo Bioworks: Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company's cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.