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Business

Ginkgo Bioworks buys DNA supplier Gen9

by Ann M. Thayer
January 30, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 5

Synthetic biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks has acquired its DNA supplier, Gen9, for an undisclosed amount. As a result, Gen9’s capabilities for synthesizing large amounts of DNA now directly feed into Ginkgo’s automated organism-engineering foundries. Ginkgo uses the DNA to build customized multigene enzymatic pathways and microbial strains for clients such as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland that are looking to produce chemicals and ingredients. In 2016, Ginkgo signed DNA supply deals with Gen9 and Twist Bioscience for a combined 600 million base pairs of DNA, an amount expected to be more than half the synthetic DNA market. However, in late 2016, Boston news reports said that Gen9 had put orders on hold and was laying off most of its staff. The companies say remaining Gen9 operations and R&D people will join Ginkgo. And Gen9’s BioFab manufacturing systems, which include proprietary technologies, software, and informatics tools, are being moved into Ginkgo.

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