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Persephone Biosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Complete Reusable Bacteroides Anaerobic Engineering Toolkit

October 17, 2023

- Persephone to utilize the Bacteroides technology for the rapid generation of therapeutics from its planned and ongoing biomarker studies, including the ARGONAUT study

- Ginkgo retains the rights to leverage the toolkit to address a wide range of customer needs and applications

SAN DIEGO and BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Persephone Biosciences Inc., a synthetic biology company reimagining patient health through the microbiome, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced the completion of their first collaboration together, a Bacteroides engineering toolkit. Under the collaboration, both Persephone and Ginkgo have access to this reusable toolkit. Persephone will utilize the technology to develop a pipeline of microbiome therapeutics, and Ginkgo can use the technology as part of its broader platform offering for future customers.

The technology comprises a set of generalizable genetic tools which can facilitate rapid Bacteroides engineering, including in the high-throughput anaerobic engineering context. Over the course of this collaboration, Ginkgo incorporated its flagship hardware and software workflows under an anaerobic blanket, meaningfully extending its cell engineering platform capabilities to perform productively in an anaerobic environment.

Ginkgo and Persephone announced in April 2022 that they would collaborate to develop novel microbiome products based on the bacterial genus Bacteroides, a promising vehicle for stable and long-term delivery of microbial products. Through this collaboration, a high-throughput anaerobic cell engineering platform has been developed. With it, Ginkgo designed and screened hundreds of promoters, shuttle vectors, ribosome binding sites, and terminators to characterize their efficiency and expression levels and selected parts across the expression range for the final toolkit.

While Persephone plans to utilize the Bacteroides technology for the rapid generation of therapeutics from its planned and ongoing oncology biomarker studies, Ginkgo may leverage the toolkit to address a wide range of customer needs and applications, including for customers developing microbiome based therapeutics.

"At Ginkgo, we are growing our network of partners and striving to provide a platform to all the innovators that have a vision of using biology to solve the world's most pressing problems," said Jennifer Wipf, Ginkgo's Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering. "Continuous improvement to our platform is key, and together with Persephone's expertise in the microbiome and with bacterial strains, we've improved yet another valuable offering in a therapeutic area of interest to many of our partners."

"We're delighted with the results of our collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks. The resulting technology offers us previously unimaginable inhouse scale, that promises to save us valuable time as we seek to rapidly generate therapeutics from our oncology biomarker studies, including our ongoing ARGONAUT trial," said Stephanie Culler, co-founder and CEO of Persephone Biosciences. "This in turn could enable us to bring much-needed better health outcomes - across a range of cancer types - much sooner than would otherwise be possible."

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 X (formerly known as Twitter) (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGBW), Instagram (@GinkgoBioworks and @ConcentricByGinkgo), Threads (@GinkgoBioworks) or LinkedIn.

About Persephone Biosciences

Persephone Biosciences  is a synthetic biology company reimagining patient health through the development of microbiome-based medicines. The company's operations comprise Persephone Consumer Health and Persephone Therapeutics. Persephone Consumer Health is focused on adult and infant wellbeing, through the development of pioneered probiotics (My Baby Biome™ clinical study) and Food as Medicine studies. Persephone Therapeutics is targeting improved patient therapeutic response, with an initial focus on oncology treatment and prevention (ARGONAUT clinical study). The company was founded in 2017 by synthetic and metabolic engineering pioneers, Stephanie Culler, Ph.D., and Steve Van Dien, Ph.D. For more information, visit, or on X and 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 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) 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 uncertainty regarding the demand for passive monitoring programs and biosecurity services, (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 August 9, 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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