BOSTON and CINCINNATI, Jan. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Optimvia, a biotechnology company specializing in engineering enzymes and their cofactors to synthesize complex therapeutic molecules, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a partnership to improve the manufacturing efficiency of biosynthetic heparin, an essential medicine currently produced from industrial animal agriculture. Under the 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 serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biotechnology, including partnerships that aim to improve manufacturing processes and strengthen supply chains of key medicines. Heparin is a life-saving drug that prevents blood clots and is classified as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization; producing non-animal derived heparin is intended to be the proof of principle for Optimvia's platform 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."
"Ginkgo's platform helps emerging startups develop and optimize their products and reach commercial scale," said Jason Kelly, CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks. "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."
Optimvia is a biotechnology company leveraging its ADEPT™ platform to engineer enzymes, enzyme systems and co-factors to create new faster, cheaper and safer supply chains for critical, at risk therapeutic products. Biosynthetic heparin is the first commercial candidate Optimvia has developed using its ADEPT™ platform. For more information, please visit www.optimvia.com.
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. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.
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 the potential success of the partnership 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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SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks