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Ginkgo Bioworks Acquires Adaptive Laboratory Evolution Company Altar

October 4, 2022

BOSTON, Oct. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced the tuck-in acquisition of Altar, a French biotechnology company that has developed a proprietary adaptive evolution platform. A fleet of Altar's automated adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) instruments will be integrated into Ginkgo's Foundry to serve customers across food and beverage, biofuels, biomaterials, cosmetics, animal health and human health applications, among others. Ginkgo has successfully collaborated with Altar on customer programs historically and is excited to welcome them to the team.

Despite the immense progress in rational genome editing and high-throughput testing of engineered strains over the last decade, it often remains challenging to engineer microorganisms that meet target specifications under industrially relevant conditions due to the complexity and unknowns of the underlying genetics. For the development of certain phenotypes, such as those based on improved growth under normally unfavorable conditions, ALE can be a powerful approach to address this challenge. By incorporating Altar's ALE platform to Ginkgo's existing strain engineering capabilities, Ginkgo expects to be able to routinely engineer those target phenotypes that can be selected for based on their improved growth properties under defined process conditions, such as in the presence of otherwise inhibitory concentrations of a target end product or prohibitively high temperatures. Selected strains coming out of these ALE-based selections will then be characterized and further validated by Ginkgo's existing suite of test workflows.  

"As the range of programs we work on continues to expand, it is imperative that we have the best tools in rational design as well as the ability to leverage the inherent diversity and creativity that emerges from evolutionary processes," said Nikos Reppas, Senior Director, Foundry Technology at Ginkgo Bioworks. "We're excited to welcome the Altar team to Ginkgo and look forward to integrating the Altar technology into Ginkgo's suite of offerings so we can better serve existing and future customers."

"We founded Altar to increase the feasibility and reduce time-to-market for bio-manufactured products," said Simon Trancart, CEO of Altar. "We've been working with Ginkgo for a few years now, and are thrilled to join the Ginkgo platform as we work to accomplish our mission at an even greater scale by collectively using biology to drive innovation across industries."

About Altar

Altar is specialized in the development of microorganisms for industrial applications. Altar's technology, which was developed in collaboration with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), automates Adaptive Laboratory Evolution and offers a unique capability to adapt microorganisms to the conditions required by industrial companies for their competitive utilization at commercial scale. Altar benefited from the support of the European Commission through the EIC Accelerator Pilot financing program. For more information, visit

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential success of the acquisition and Ginkgo's cell programming platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "can," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of Ginkgo's business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo operates and plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (vii) the unpredictability of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for COVID-19 testing and the commercial viability of our COVID-19 testing business, (viii) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations, and (ix) our ability to close and realize the expected benefits of pending merger and acquisition transactions. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on August 15, 2022 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.



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