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Illumina, Ginkgo Bioworks Ink Global Comarketing Agreement for Biosecurity

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks said on Monday that its biosecurity subsidiary Concentric has entered into a comarketing agreement with Illumina for sequencing-based biosurveillance technologies.

Under the terms of the global agreement, the partners will aim to demonstrate the use of Illumina next-generation sequencing products with Concentric's global pathogen monitoring network. They will also work to "increase the scale and scope of pathogen genomic surveillance globally," the firms said in a statement, and to enhance early detection of emerging and novel pathogens.

"We now have the sequencing solutions available to ask valuable and complex questions of samples, to really understand the nature of circulating pathogens with a holistic, comprehensive approach," Luke Hickey, Illumina VP of marketing, said in a statement. "Illumina is proud to partner with Concentric by Ginkgo to empower countries to protect the health of their citizens from infectious threats."

The deal builds on a $70 million investment Ginkgo received in May 2020 from Illumina and other investors to build large-scale sequencing-based COVID testing infrastructure.

It's also the latest in a string of partnerships centered on biosecurity and pathogen surveillance for Ginkgo. In September, Ginkgo partnered with Ceres Nanosciences on wastewater testing.

In October, the firm partnered with Google Cloud on artificial intelligence for all its activities, including pathogen surveillance, in a five-year deal worth up to $289 million.

Ginkgo's Concentric has a global presence and has signed biosecurity deals with countries including Australia, BotswanaQatarRwanda, Ukraine, and the US.