Transaction is expected to bolster Ginkgo's growing biosecurity platform and provide expanded epidemic tracking, modeling, and forecasting offerings to public health leaders and communities
BOSTON, Aug. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced the purchase of certain epidemiological data infrastructure assets from Baktus, Inc., a Delaware-based public benefit corporation. Under the terms of the deal, Ginkgo will assume ownership of proprietary datasets, modeling and analytic tools, and a software platform with the capabilities to track, model, and forecast epidemics and associated risks and impacts. Ginkgo also expects to integrate several ongoing epidemiological analysis projects and a team of epidemiological data experts into its biosecurity and public health initiative, Concentric by Ginkgo.
Baktus, through its subsidiary, Metabiota, Inc., has built an extensive database of infectious disease outbreaks. In addition to epidemiological tracking and forecasting, the company created specialized data infrastructure to help governments and other partners understand and model the risks and disruptive impacts of pathogens in order to promote resilience to pandemics and epidemics. Baktus and Metabiota are expected to continue their independent operations after transferring the assets and epidemiological data personnel included in this transaction.
"We believe robust public health data is the bedrock of biosecurity—it's what enables public health leaders to direct resources where they're needed the most and researchers to develop targeted vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics," said Matt McKnight, General Manager for Biosecurity at Ginkgo. "Integrating state-of-the-art epidemiological modeling and predictive capabilities with our end-to-end biosecurity offerings will help us continue making the data we gather on pathogen spread and evolution that much more meaningful and actionable for public health leaders and communities."
"Our team has spent nearly a decade building epidemiological data and risk modeling tools for the public and private sector to more effectively quantify, mitigate and manage epidemic risk. This transaction demonstrates the importance of these efforts and capabilities," said Nita Madhav, outgoing CEO of Metabiota, who will be joining Ginkgo as part of the transaction. "Ginkgo's biosecurity initiative is an ideal home for our data, analytics, and expertise, and we are very excited to join the Ginkgo team."
Concentric has built a large-scale biosecurity platform, bolstered by a nationwide laboratory and operational network, to deliver comprehensive COVID-19 monitoring programs and services across thousands of sites in the U.S., including schools, airports, and other congregate settings. Concentric is building upon this foundation to create a sustainable global biosecurity infrastructure to help detect, mitigate and respond to a wide variety of biological threats, and we expect this transaction to be a key milestone towards developing that infrastructure.
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.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential success of the transaction and Ginkgo's biosecurity platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "can," "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 press release, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of Ginkgo's 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 operates and 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, (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (vii) the unpredictability of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for COVID-19 testing and the commercial viability of our COVID-19 testing business, (viii) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations, and (ix) our ability to close and realize the expected benefits of pending merger and acquisition transactions. 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 August 15, 2022 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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