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Ginkgo Bioworks, First Serv to Build Pathogen Monitoring Capabilities in Qatar

NEW YORK — Ginkgo Bioworks and investment holding firm First Serv plan to establish global biosecurity and pathogen monitoring infrastructure in Qatar, the companies said on Wednesday.

Under the terms of a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, Ginkgo will provide its operational and technical expertise in large-scale pathogen monitoring to Doha-based First Serv, which aims to set up a framework for detecting emerging pathogens in Qatar.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We need a robust global weather map to identify and track emerging biological threats," Matt McKnight, general manager of biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks, said in a statement. "We are incredibly excited by the opportunity to use our biosecurity platform to help bolster Qatar's pathogen monitoring infrastructure to assist Doha's global travel hub in becoming a leader in helping prepare the world for the next new variant or novel pathogen."

Earlier this month, Boston-based Ginkgo — which went public in September — posted a 282 percent jump in first quarter revenues, in part due to strong growth in its biosecurity business, mostly from COVID-19 testing.