Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks close deal creating Agricultural Biologicals Powerhouse
Ginkgo Bioworks becomes a multi-year strategic partner with Bayer to develop biological solutions in areas such as nitrogen optimization, carbon sequestration, and next generation crop protection / Open Innovation Sourcing is expected to accelerate Biologicals R&D pipeline by tapping into the worldwide open innovation ecosystem / Bayer to continue work to optimize Joyn Bio’s nitrogen fixation technology, aiming to complement synthetic fertilizers going forward
Monheim, Germany / Boston, MA, October 18, 2022 – Bayer today announced that the company has closed the previously announced transaction with Ginkgo Bioworks to begin a multi-year strategic partnership to accelerate research and development of biological products for agriculture. The transaction includes the divestment of Bayer’s West Sacramento Biologics Research & Development site, and its internal discovery and lead optimization platform.
With the close of this transaction, the Biologics business which is part of Bayer’s Crop Science Division, will also be able to further engage the open innovation ecosystem and build upon its leading position as partner of choice for innovators and scientists around the world.
Joyn Bio, the joint venture created by Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks in 2017, will be integrated into Ginkgo Bioworks to enable the continued advancement of Joyn Bio’s innovative nitrogen fixation platform. As part of the agreement, Bayer retains the right to commercialize the technology to complement synthetic fertilizer use in the coming years.
Bayer is now the first major partner of Ginkgo Bioworks expanded agricultural biologicals platform, entering into a new collaboration focused on important programs in the areas of crop protection, nitrogen fixation, and carbon sequestration to identify next generation biologicals that provide clear benefits to growers.
“Biological solutions play a critical role in the agricultural innovation ecosystem, and we see tremendous opportunity for these products to add even more value for agriculture in the future,” said Dr. Robert Reiter, Head of R&D at Bayer’s Crop Science Division. “The open innovation approach will accelerate the product pipeline and will make sure that we bring high-quality biological solutions and innovative technologies to the market faster.”
Ginkgo Bioworks aims to develop and advance agricultural microbial solutions across crops and geographies through broad, fully-enabled technical platforms that address diverse market needs. Ginkgo Bioworks will work independently with different partners in the discovery of microbial derived products for agriculture.
“Ginkgo is committed to harnessing the power of programmable biology to enable sustainable food production and food security worldwide,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We look forward to partnering with Bayer and other innovative companies, and to bringing more applications on to Ginkgo’s expanded agricultural biologicals platform so that growers worldwide can develop breakthrough products.”
Through years of successful R&D partnerships and collaborations with leading companies like Novozymes, and AlphaBio Control, the Biologics business of Bayer has developed the deep expertise needed to partner with innovators across the entire range of biological innovation. By building new collaboration pathways within the scientific community, Bayer will better be able to leverage its biologicals expertise to develop and deploy more sustainable, climate-smart and innovative agricultural solutions to growers around the world.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2021, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 44.1 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.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.
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This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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 Ginkgo's expectations regarding its ability to expand its platform capabilities in agricultural biologicals through the transaction, the expected timeline, potential outcomes and expected benefits of the transaction, Bayer's role as Ginkgo's first major partner in its expanded agricultural biologicals platform, the terms and scope of Ginkgo's ongoing collaboration with Bayer and its expectations with respect to the collaboration, and Ginkgo's expectations with respect to its ability to engage with other customers and partners through its agricultural biologicals 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.