New Elanco and Ginkgo entity looks to animal health breakthroughs based on microbiome science

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/miodrag ignjatovic
© GettyImages/miodrag ignjatovic

Related tags: Ginkgo Bioworks, Elanco Animal Health, probiotics, Antibiotic resistance, pet

US synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks and Elanco Animal Health Inc are launching a new business targeting unmet needs in pet and livestock markets.

The new company, called BiomEdit, is focused on the development of products, including antibiotic alternatives, that leverage microbiome science to improve animal health, animal protein production, and livestock disease monitoring. The teams will work on the discovery and production of new probiotics, and bioactive molecules, as well as other products and services for farmers and veterinarians. 

BiomEdit is launching with a targeted Series A funding raise of US$40m, with participation by Viking Global Investors and Anterra Capital.

In exchange for their respective asset and intellectual property contributions, Elanco and Ginkgo are expected to retain around 40% combined proportional ownership of BiomEdit, upon the completion of the Series A financing. Elanco's ownership will be in non-voting shares.

Antibiotic resistance, sustainability

In October 2021, Elanco announced its intention to carve out its microbiome platform. BiomEdit is the result.

The partners plans to leverage Ginkgo's cell programming platform to improve the design and development of new products that address antibiotic resistance and improve livestock sustainability.

Elanco will contribute intellectual property and a pipeline of ongoing programs to BiomEdit, which will be staffed with members of the earlier Elanco microbiome R&D team.

Coupling the platform, pipeline and deep expertise of the former Elanco microbiome team with Ginkgo's unique screening and strain engineering capabilities will accelerate and amplify our ability to advance novel animal microbiome inspired products for animal health,”​ said Aaron Schacht, BiomEdit CEO and former Elanco executive vice president of innovation, regulatory and business development.

Ginkgo claims “significant expertise”​ in the discovery, design and monitoring of microbes at scale for a wide array of functions. The animal health platform is the latest in a series of agrifood-related ventures for the Boston-based biotech; others include Joyn Bio and Motif FoodWorks. Its biotechnology applications have also seen uptake in the industrial chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors.  

Related topics: R&D

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