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IARPA Awards B24IC Research Contract to Ginkgo Bioworks to Develop Breakthrough Biointelligence and Biosecurity Innovations

July 13, 2023

BOSTON, July 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, has been awarded a research contract from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research and development arm of the U.S. Intelligence Community, for the Biointelligence and Biosecurity for the Intelligence Community (B24IC) program. Through this program, Ginkgo aims to develop a biosensor that records time-ordered cellular memory for improved traceability and biosecurity.

As a part of the collaboration, Ginkgo will build on recent scientific breakthroughs to create a revolutionary biosensor that can continuously record and store gene expression data in chronological order within a microbial genome, and to also create processes to retrieve this data to reconstruct the exposure history of a microbe. This tool would allow users to monitor the lab conditions and processes to which the cell was subjected. This cellular "flight recorder" would function as a synthetic memory device, registering cellular histories to support investigations into origination, attribution, and specific use, including excursions into higher/lower temperatures and contact with other substances. Ginkgo's ability to computationally design hundreds of thousands of DNA sequences and strains and to physically build and screen them at scale for faster discovery can provide the B24IC program with the capabilities to realize this project's goal. These capabilities include Ginkgo's capacities in protein design and as well as the engineering expertise needed to develop this genomically integrated DNA-recording system and to build a series of intracellular biosensors that can revolutionize biosecurity through the use of robust cellular memory systems.

"The rapid proliferation of biotechnology stands to pose new national security risks that the Intelligence Community will need to counter and mitigate," said B24IC Program Manager Dr. Michael Patterson in a recent press release. "B24IC could boost our approach to biointelligence and biosecurity far beyond our current understanding—years or decades into the future."

This announcement deepens Ginkgo's partnership with IARPA to boost the nation's approach to biointelligence and biosecurity. Ginkgo has a history of partnering with IARPA, most recently through its Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program, which was created to augment and improve current biodetection and biosurveillance capabilities. Through the program, Ginkgo developed a novel computational platform for detecting genetic engineering: ENDAR (Engineered Nucleotide Detection and Ranking).

"This project is a milestone for Ginkgo in its growing role as a trusted biosecurity partner to the U.S. government. We are deeply committed to this space, which you can see in our implementation of large-scale pathogen monitoring infrastructure nationally and worldwide, and in the breakthrough biosecurity tools we've already developed to detect and deter the misuse of bioengineering," said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder, Ginkgo Bioworks. "The Biden Administration's Executive Order on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing includes an important mandate for all of us in the field to work on advancing biosafety and biosecurity. This is absolutely critical for the growth of the bioeconomy. At Ginkgo, we're excited to develop biosecurity innovations that have the potential to both keep us safe and drive innovation in responsible bioengineering."

This research is based upon work supported in part by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), via N66001-23-C-4509. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of ODNI, IARPA, or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright annotation therein'.

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect, and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. For more information, visit and, read our blog, or follow us on social media channels such as Twitter (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGBW), Instagram (@GinkgoBioworks and @ConcentricByGinkgo), or LinkedIn.

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 capabilities and potential success of the partnership, Ginkgo's cell programming platform, and Ginkgo's biosecurity offerings. 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) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities 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, and changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business, (ii) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations, and to identify and realize additional business opportunities, (iii) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (iv) 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, (v) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations, (vi) our ability to realize the expected benefits of merger and acquisition transactions, (vii) the outcome of any legal proceedings against Ginkgo, including as a result of recent acquisitions, (viii) our ability to realize the expected benefits from and the success of our Foundry platform programs, (ix) our ability to successfully develop engineered cells, bioprocesses, data packages or other deliverables, and (x) the product development or commercialization success of our customers. 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 May 10, 2023 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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