Research & Development

Boehringer Ingelheim and Ginkgo Bioworks collaborate over $406m undruggable targets deal

German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and cell programming and biosecurity platform builder Ginkgo Bioworks have announced a partnership to discover and develop novel therapeutic molecules. The companies are focusing on treatments for diseases considered ‘undruggable’ with high unmet patient needs.
BI will mine Ginkgo’s metagenomic sequence database for structurally novel bioactive molecules that could potentially enable rapid identification of lead molecules as starting points for drugs. The database is comprised of over three terabytes of sequence data and over two billion proprietary protein sequences from a variety of molecules.
Ginkgo’s database, one of the broadest and deepest in the world, is supported by Zymergen’s core automation and software technologies. Ginkgo acquired Zymergen for $300m in July 2022.
Under the agreement, Ginkgo will receive up to$406minupfrontresearchfees,success-based research and development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. It is also entitled to potential royalties from any products derived from the collaboration.
Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder at Ginkgo Bioworks stated: “Ginkgo is well-positioned to help partners like BI complement their drug discovery efforts particularly when it comes to natural product discovery. We are thrilled to work with BI leveraging our Foundry and Codebase to unlock new possibilities in biopharma innovation.”