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Ginkgo Bio Invests $10M in Transcriptic, Inks Supply Deal With Twist Bioscience

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ginkgo Bioworks today said it will invest more than $10 million over the next five years to incorporate Transcriptic's robotic automation software into its Boston-based foundries.

Transcriptic is a Menlo Park, California-based company that provides robotic automation software. While Ginkgo currently has software and robotics in place to automate its organism design work, Ginkgo Cofounder Barry Canton said in a statement that the partnership with Transcriptic should improve the firm's capabilities and capacity. Canton called Transcriptic's abilities "unparalleled," and said the deal "brings an unprecedented scale to our organism foundry."

Separately, the company announced a new supply agreement with Twist Bioscience that will see Twist synthesize a billion base pairs of synthetic DNA for Ginkgo, an order that Ginkgo CEO Jason Kelly called a "historic purchase" in a statement.

Both deals should advance Ginkgo's custom microbe business as it expands into consumer goods markets such as cosmetics, nutrition, and food. The company will soon debut the third generation of its automated foundry, dubbed Bioworks3, based in part on technology it acquired with DNA synthesis firm Gen9 this year. Last month, the company announced an agreement with Bayer to invest $100 million in establishing a new agricultural biotechnology-focused firm that will reply in part on Ginkgo's foundry.

By partnering with Transcriptic, Ginkgo expects to double its monthly foundry output, quicken and improve product delivery to customers, and establish a more flexible, scalable platform. And Ginkgo said the billion base pairs it ordered from San Francisco-based Twist will be used in Bioworks3, which it expects to open next month. Ginkgo also said the synthetic DNA supply will fuel its expansion into new industries.