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Brief: Ginkgo Bioworks & Elanco launch animal health company BiomEdit

April 13, 2022

  • US synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks and Elanco are launching a “microbiome innovation” company that will develop animal health products and services.
  • The new company, called BiomEdit, will discover and produce novel probiotics, bioactive molecules, engineered microbial medicines, and microbial monitoring services for farmers, veterinarians, and others working in animal health. 
  • BiomEdit has secured early backing from Viking Global Investors and Anterra Capital and is targeting a $40 million Series A raise. 

Why it matters:

Animal health and wellbeing are increasingly in the spotlight, particularly in the wake of the ongoing avian influenza outbreak ravaging commercial poultry operations in the US. 

Elanco has a decades-long history of developing products to improve pet and livestock health. It first announced its plan to create its microbiome platform and pipeline in 2021.

For BiomEdit, Elanco will contribute intellectual property and programs, as well as staff from the Elanco R&D team. Biotech specialist Ginkgo will help scale the process through its cell-programming platform, which uses synthetic biology, genetic engineering, software, robotics and data analytics to engineer microbes.

The new company will target medicated feed ingredients, nutritional health and therapeutics for livestock and pet species, and biosecurity technology for animal disease monitoring. By combining their efforts, Elanco and Ginkgo hope to advance innovations in animal health by leveraging on the microbial communities in animals and their environments. 

BiomEdit is the latest agrifood-related platform venture for Boston-based Ginkgo; others include Joyn Bio and Motif FoodWorks.

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