Ginkgo Bioworks acquires 3 companies

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In a move aimed at strengthening its portfolio of services, Ginkgo Bioworks announced this week that it has acquired three startups: gene-editing diagnostics developer Proof Diagnostics, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company Reverie Labs, and AI platform developer Patch Biosciences.

Financial terms of the three acquisitions have not been disclosed, although Ginkgo did provide compensation information about grants of stock units for select employees of Patch Bio and Reverie Labs on its website.

Proof Diagnostics has been working on developing a diagnostic system using CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies. In a statement, Ginkgo noted that Proof's libraries of RNA programmable, non-Cas enzymes -- dubbed OMEGAs by Proof (for obligate mobile element-guided activity) -- are of particular  interest in the acquisition. Ginkgo intends to use the OMEGA libraries to support its gene therapy services.

"The emerging class of OMEGAs represents an exciting potential expansion of the current tools most commonly used in genomic medicines. OMEGAs are significantly smaller and more diverse and robust than many other classes of programmable nucleases, which makes them easier to deliver to cells and opens up new therapeutic approaches," Ginkgo said in its statement.

The acquisition of both Patch Bio and Reverie aims to strengthen Ginkgo's AI-driven services, as well as to accelerate Ginkgo's work in building next-generation biological foundation models.

Ginkgo said that it has acquired Reverie's infrastructure and software for training large-scale AI foundation models; furthermore, four of Reverie's key AI team members will join Ginkgo. The firm seeks to integrate Patch Bio’s machine-learning models and downstream assays into its existing platform. Additionally, Ginkgo noted that Patch Bio's validated muscle promoters and robust RNA UTRs complement its own circular RNA and promoter screening platform technology.

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