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Ginkgo Bioworks, Pfizer Ink RNA Drug Discovery Deal Worth up to $331M

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks said on Wednesday that it has entered into a collaboration with Pfizer potentially worth as much as $331 million to discover RNA-based drug candidates.

Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer will employ Ginkgo's RNA therapeutics services to advance discovery and development of novel RNA molecules across three programs. Ginkgo will aim to achieve efficient production, circularization, improved stability, and enhanced translation of RNA constructs.

Ginkgo will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive research fees as well as development and commercial milestone payments. Ginkgo may also receive royalties on sales. Other details were not disclosed.

"RNA therapeutics are proving to be an important platform to advance the world of scientific innovation, and with progress in synthetic biology we have the potential to create new RNA treatments that may benefit patients worldwide," Will Somers, head of biomedicine design at Pfizer, said in a statement. "Access to Ginkgo's proprietary platform will help enable Pfizer to search for novel and exciting RNA constructs with improved stability and expression that could lead to more effective treatments."

Boston-based Ginkgo has made a concerted effort to court the pharmaceutical industry in 2023. In May, the firm signed a deal with Boehringer Ingelheim worth up to $406 million.