Pfizer and Ginkgo Bioworks to Collaborate on Multi-Target RNA Discovery

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BP Elements, BioPharm International's BP Elements, October 2023, Volume 2, Issue 10

Pfizer has entered into a collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks to discover novel RNA molecules across priority research areas.

Ginkgo Bioworks announced a collaboration on Sept. 27, 2023 with Pfizer under which Pfizer will use Ginkgo's proprietary RNA technology to advance the discovery and development of novel RNA molecules across priority research areas.

Pfizer will pay Ginkgo an upfront payment. Ginkgo is eligible to receive research fees and development and commercial milestone payments. All told, the company may receive up to an aggregate total of $331 million across three programs. In addition, Ginkgo is entitled to potential royalties on sales further downstream.

Ginkgo's RNA technology combines high-throughput screening that evaluates the behavior of RNA constructs with a multi-parameter design framework. The technology allows the company to identify novel natural and synthetic elements that are optimal for a particular application. Ginkgo will apply its technology to achieve efficient production, circularization, improved stability, and enhanced translation of each RNA construct.


"RNA therapeutics are proving to be an important platform to advance the world of scientific innovation, and with progress in synthetic biology we have the potential to create new RNA treatments that may benefit patients worldwide," said Will Somers, head, Biomedicine Design, Pfizer, in a company press release. "Access to Ginkgo's proprietary platform will help enable Pfizer to search for novel and exciting RNA constructs with improved stability and expression that could lead to more effective treatments."

"Billions of patients around the world have already benefited from advances in RNA-based technologies. We're thrilled to be able to help enable the discovery and development of novel drugs using this powerful modality by applying our platform technologies, which are designed to program RNA for maximum therapeutic effect," said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder, Ginkgo Bioworks, in the release. "Ginkgo's approach enables and accelerates discovery across different disease areas and modalities for our partners, who bring deep expertise in drug development."

Source: Ginkgo Bioworks