Pharma Focus Asia

Persephone Biosciences and Ginkgo Bioworks Announce Collaboration to Develop Novel Therapeutics

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Persephone Biosciences Inc., a synthetic biology company reimagining patient and infant health, and Ginkgo Bioworks, the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced a collaboration to develop a novel therapeutics based on the bacterial genus Bacteroides.

Bacteroides species are among the most common members of the microbiota of animals, especially in the gastrointestinal tract, and are likely a useful tool for stable and long-term delivery of microbial medicines. Unlike many other gut microbes, Bacteroides have been shown to be a good candidate for genetic engineering. Persephone is pioneering the use of synthetic biology for the development of microbial products that impact patient and infant health, which requires the ability to engineer Bacteroides strains for therapeutic applications. This demands a set of reliable and generalizable genetic tools for rapid Bacteroides engineering to optimize therapeutic properties. Ginkgo and Persephone will collaborate on the design and synthesis of such a toolkit as well as the development of novel microbial therapeutic using such tool kit.

"We love supporting early-stage biotechs like Persephone to accelerate groundbreaking and meaningful work at its very genesis," said Jason Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Ginkgo Bioworks. "The microbial medicines space is one we are deeply committed to, and we look forward to further developing our anaerobic engineering capability to help foster the next-generation treatments Persephone is developing."

"This collaboration not only provides Persephone with critical engineering capabilities, but also sets the stage for us to further partner with Ginkgo, and access its platform's scale, on additional future projects," said Stephanie Culler, co-founder and CEO of Persephone Biosciences. "We believe Ginkgo's scalability provides us with the opportunity to de-risk and accelerate our programs, which in turn could enable us to improve patient outcomes faster."

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