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Factorial Biotech, Ginkgo Bioworks to Codevelop Enzyme for Single-Cell Sequencing Library Prep

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks and Factorial Biotechnologies said on Monday that they have inked a partnership to develop a new enzyme for Factorial's single-cell next-generation sequencing library prep kit.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the collaboration, San Carlos, California-based Factorial will leverage Ginkgo’s enzyme services to develop a novel isothermal DNA polymerase for its intracellular single-cell sequencing library prep chemistry, using Ginkgo's proprietary Pichia pastoris expression system.

Factorial has been working on extraction-free technology to be able to create sequencing libraries inside intact cells within a mix of cells. The same technology could be used to generate single-cell libraries for digital PCR workflows.

Ginkgo, based in Boston, said it is providing its enzyme service with a "success-based pricing model," which was created to help "companies de-risk their research and development efforts."

"Factorial had specifications for an isothermal polymerase that is optimal for our system," Factorial Cofounder and CEO John Wells wrote in an email. "Together, Factorial and Ginkgo developed a plan and corresponding assays to develop this polymerase, which will boost performance of Factorial's existing single-cell assays and expand our total addressable market."