Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE:DNA) stock has been making headlines left and right this month. The company has announced several new collaborations and acquisitions. Since Oct. 4, the cell programming company has acquired Altar, Circularis and Zymergen, and has announced collaborations with Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY), Bolt Threads and Merck (NYSE:MRK).
On Oct. 17, Ginkgo also announced that it had completed the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s (IARPA) Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) program in collaboration with IARPA and Draper. As part of the program, Ginkgo created a “suite of new computational tools” called Engineered Nucleotide Detection and Ranking (ENDAR), while Draper created an experimental platform to detect when samples include genetically engineered biological systems.
IARPA Program Manager David A. Markowitz added, “Through their work on the FELIX program, Ginkgo and Draper have achieved two major breakthroughs for the biodetection community. The ability to detect genetic engineering in complex biological samples has long been a moonshot goal, and these new capabilities are poised to transform national biosecurity efforts.”
DNA Stock: Ginkgo Is on an Acquisition and Collaboration Spree
Meanwhile, the multi-year collaboration with Bayer will see the two companies work together to research and develop biological products for agriculture. As part of the collaboration, Bayer will divest its West Sacramento Biologics Research and Development facility, as well as its internal discovery and lead optimization platform. In 2017, the two companies collaborated to create joint venture (JV) Joyn Bio. Joyn will now be fully integrated into Ginkgo to advance the JV’s innovative nitrogen fixation platform.
With Merck, Ginkgo will develop up to four enzymes that will be used as biocatalysts in Merck’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing program. Ginkgo seeks to achieve this by using its “world-class proprietary fungal strains, cell line development, enzyme engineering and optimization, and multiomics expertise.” Through the collaboration, Ginkgo will be able to receive an upfront research and developmental fee and milestone payments up to $144 million.
Finally, the multi-project collaboration with Bolt Threads will see Ginkgo improve and expand Bolt’s products by “developing novel proteins for biomaterials.” The first project will seek to increase the growth rate of Mylo, which is an alternative to leather composed of mycelium. This material has use cases in the fashion industry, such as for handbags, wallets and footwear. The financial terms of the collaboration were not immediately disclosed.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.