Pfizer Collaborates with Ginkgo in a $331 Million Biobucks Partnership

Pfizer Collaborates with Ginkgo in a $331 Million Biobucks Partnership

Ginkgo Bioworks has secured a substantial partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, marking a significant milestone in its portfolio of collaborations. This alliance, focused on the discovery of RNA medicines, is valued at a total of $331 million in biobucks for three distinct programs. While specific financial breakdowns were not disclosed, the $331 million encompasses various components, including an upfront payment, research fees, as well as development and commercial milestone payments, in addition to future royalties.

The exact areas of research within this partnership have not been publicly disclosed. However, the announcement mentions a shared commitment to “the discovery and development of novel RNA molecules across priority research areas.” Considering Pfizer’s recent emphasis on key research domains such as vaccines, internal and genetic medicines, anti-infectives, oncology, inflammation, and immunology, it is likely that these areas will be central to the collaborative efforts. Pfizer has demonstrated a notable focus on mRNA medicines through its partnership with BioNTech, resulting in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty, as well as other ongoing collaborations in various therapeutic areas.

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Pfizer’s objective in teaming up with Ginkgo is to identify novel RNA constructs capable of enhancing stability and expression, ultimately leading to the creation of innovative therapeutics. Dr. Will Somers, Head of Biomedicine Design at Pfizer, articulated this goal.

Ginkgo Bioworks has been actively expanding its presence and forging partnerships within the pharmaceutical and related industries throughout the summer. In August, it inked a second agreement with Merck & Co. for biologic manufacturing, with a potential value of up to $490 million. Earlier in May, Boehringer Ingelheim also engaged Ginkgo in a discovery collaboration targeting undruggable targets, with a potential worth of up to $406 million.

This latest partnership between Ginkgo Bioworks and Pfizer underscores the growing significance of biotechnology in drug discovery and development, and it highlights the shared commitment of both companies to advance the field of RNA medicines for the benefit of patients worldwide.

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