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Ginkgo Bioworks to Acquire Swiss Bioengineering Firm FGen

NEW YORK — Ginkgo Bioworks said on Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FGen, a Swiss contract research organization specializing in microbial strain development and optimization.

Boston-based Ginkgo said that FGen — a spinout of ETH Zurich — has developed an ultra-high-throughput screening platform using nanoliter reactor technology that it will incorporate into its own high-throughput screening systems. This will allow it to analyze the performance of millions of genetic prototypes in a pooled format and to upgrade the quality of candidate hits that feed into downstream workflows for strain characterization and validation.

FGen's platform, Ginkgo added, can be used to screen for intracellular and secreted target products, as well as both small molecules and proteins. It can also accommodate diverse organisms including bacteria, yeast, filamentous species, and mammalian cells.

Under the terms of the deal, Ginkgo will pay an undisclosed upfront fee, as well as additional consideration based on milestones such as the integration and deployment of FGen's technology in Ginkgo's programs. Additional terms were not disclosed.

This is the second expansion of Ginkgo through an acquisition this year. In January, Ginkgo acquired Project Beacon COVID-19, a Boston-based coronavirus testing organization.