Seed World

Ginkgo Signs Agreement with Bayer to Develop Agricultural Biological Programs

Ginkgo set to acquire Bayer’s Biologics R&D center and embark on a multi-platform collaboration to develop various agricultural biological programs.

Ginkgo Bioworks recently shared the signing of an agreement with Bayer to expand Ginkgo’s platform capabilities for agricultural biologicals. Ginkgo will acquire Bayer’s 175,000 square-foot West Sacramento biologics R&D site and their “internal discovery and lead optimization platform for approximately $83.0 million in consideration,” according to a release.

The suggested agreement is predicted to close in the final quarter of 2022 based on regulatory approvals and routine closing conditions. Ginkgo plans to integrate assets from Joyn Bio, a joint venture among Ginko and Leaps by Bayer created in 2017.

Chemical and plant trait products currently dominate the market for crop performance, yet agricultural biologicals are rapidly gaining popularity as a solution with the potential to provide sustainability and performance benefits.

The agreement will make Bayer Ginkgo’s first major partner for their expanded agricultural biologicals platform, entering a collaboration centered on the growth of Joyn’s marquee nitrogen fixation program and additional programs focused on areas like crop protection and carbon sequestration.

“To ensure sustainable food security for an ever-growing population, we need to invest in biological solutions,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “By acquiring one of the premier R&D sites for agricultural biologicals worldwide and partnering with the best-in-class teams at Bayer and Joyn, we are demonstrating our commitment to developing breakthrough products for growers around the world. We are excited to be able to make this platform accessible to innovative companies and teams who may otherwise not have the resources or expertise to develop these capabilities in house.”

During the three-year strategic partnership, Ginkgo will provide Bayer with research services for agricultural biologicals in exchange for potential downstream value earnings from royalties on net sales from the products developed through the partnership. The cash proceeds are expected to offset operating expenses.

Ginkgo plans to engage with other customers in addition to Bayer to support the growth of their agricultural biological programs.

“Through this strategic research partnership with Ginkgo and by tapping into the open innovation ecosystem, Bayer is accelerating innovation in our biologicals pipeline and continuing to lead in the development of effective and reliable solutions,” said Bob Reiter, head of R&D for Bayer’s Crop Science Division. “Agricultural biologicals have the potential to boost crop yields while simultaneously offering environmental benefits to growers, and Ginkgo’s technologies will help to deliver on biologicals’ potential.”

Read More:

Bayer to Create Ag Biologicals Powerhouse Partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks

Corteva Agriscience Collaborates with Ginkgo Bioworks to Bolster Crop Protection

Bayer Appoints Two New Members to U.S. Country Leadership Team

Arable, Bayer Partner to Accelerate Agriculture’s Digital Transformation