Ginkgo Bioworks acquires Proof Diagnostics to boost cell programming and biosecurity capabilities

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Ginkgo Bioworks, a leader in cell programming and biosecurity, announced its acquisition of Proof Diagnostics, a trailblazer in life sciences tools, diagnostics, and computational discovery. Specializing in genome engineering tools for therapeutic and diagnostic applications, Proof Diagnostics has been at the forefront of developing a smart, portable system for detecting infectious diseases and other medical conditions, including oncology. This acquisition is a testament to Ginkgo Bioworks’ commitment to advancing the capabilities of genetic medicine and diagnostics.

Proof Diagnostics, co-founded by gene editing pioneer Dr. Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, alongside Drs. Omar Abudayyeh and Jonathan Gootenberg of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, and Sid Shenai, has made significant strides in creating a cost-effective, rapid, and sensitive diagnostic system. Utilizing CRISPR-based and other technologies, Proof’s development efforts have focused on diseases such as SARS-CoV-2, Flu A/B, RSV, among others. The acquisition highlights Ginkgo’s interest in Proof’s OMEGA (Obligate Mobile Element Guided Activity) RNA programmable, non-Cas enzymes, and associated intellectual property, aiming to bolster its gene therapy services.

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OMEGA enzymes, known for their compact size, diversity, and robustness, offer a new avenue for therapeutic approaches, making them easier to deliver to cells. Ginkgo Bioworks plans to integrate these enzymes into its gene therapy services, providing customers with innovative tools for gene editing and therapy development. This move aligns with Ginkgo’s history of leveraging its platform-driven approach to contribute to the gene editing sector, including partnerships and acquisitions aimed at enhancing precision gene editors and AAV gene therapy development platforms.

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Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks, emphasized the acquisition’s role in expanding their toolbox for engineering genetic medicines, stating, “Integrating Proof’s technologies and libraries gives our customers a new tool to overcome the limitations of current gene editing systems…we are proud to be building that toolbox at Ginkgo.”

Sid Shenai, CEO and co-founder of Proof Diagnostics, expressed enthusiasm for the integration of their technologies into Ginkgo’s programs, highlighting the potential of OMEGA nucleases as a significant addition to the gene editing toolkit for therapeutics.

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The acquisition of Proof Diagnostics by Ginkgo Bioworks marks a pivotal moment in the biotech industry, emphasizing the growing importance of advanced diagnostic tools and gene editing technologies in therapeutic development. Ginkgo’s strategic move to incorporate Proof’s innovative OMEGA nuclease technologies into its offerings is likely to accelerate the development of new genetic medicines and diagnostic solutions, further cementing its role as a key player in the bioengineering and biosecurity sectors.

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