GinkGo Synthetic Biology firm will help Victoria develop mRNA capabilities

World-leading synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks will establish an office in Melbourne, bolstering Victoria’s position as the national leader in mRNA research and manufacturing.

A partnership with the Victorian Government has enabled the move, in what is hoped to be the first step in future long-term business expansion within Australia.

Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo has developed a cell engineering platform that can deliver breakthroughs to a wide range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, and food and agriculture, and is keen to tap into Victoria’s rich ecosystem of biomedical and manufacturing innovation.

“The establishment of GinkgoBioworks’ office in Melbourne demonstrates that Victoria is the home of scientific and research expertise in mRNA” Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said.

“Melbourne is one of the leading biomedical research communities in the world. We have to forge international collaborations like this because, as we have all learned, biology doesn’t respect borders. We are incredibly excited to work with mRNA Victoria and hope to expand into the Australian market” Ginkgo Bioworks Chief Commercial Officer Matt McKnight said.

Ginkgo’s cell programming capabilities have supported innovations in diagnostics and vaccine design and manufacturing, as well as ongoing research and development of innovative products such as living medicines, therapeutic proteins, and gene and cell therapies.

“This will provide access for local companies to access their cutting-edge technologies for the development of mRNA vaccines and other significant benefits to biosecurity and related industries” Minister Pulford added.

The company played a key role in the COVID-19 response and global biosecurity efforts, partnering with Moderna and Aldevron to apply its cell engineering expertise to optimise production of raw materials for making mRNA vaccine.

The company has also established one of the largest nationwide COVID testing platforms in the United States and an Airport Biosurveillance Program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also read: COVID-19 booster doses now available

The high-growth company has identified Victoria as a strong base for research into pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, mRNA development and biosecurity, presenting enormous potential for local R&D collaborations and improving the productivity of local industry through access to new technologies.

“We value the Victorian Government’s deep commitment to the mRNA ecosystem and related emerging technologies. With this support, Australia presents Ginkgo with a unique opportunity to bring our biosecurity and vaccine expertise to bear as we seek to detect, intercept, and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemic events” Matt McKnight added.

Ginkgo’s biology platform infrastructure and expertise brings critical capability to Victoria’s biotech sector and adds significant momentum to the state’s rapidly growing biotechnology ecosystem. Ginkgo’s selection of Melbourne reflects with the nation’s most sophisticated and largest mRNA ecosystem and commercialisation capability.

Through mRNA Victoria, the Government will continue to attract world leading biotech innovators to invest in Victoria.

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