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Prokarium and Ginkgo Bioworks Announce Partnership to Discover Multiple Targets for RNA Therapeutics and Immuno-oncology

09 January 2023

LONDON and BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Prokarium, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced a partnership to develop a bactofection platform to deliver RNA-based therapeutics.

Most gene therapies today leverage viral delivery systems. While significant advances have been made to optimize these systems, toxicity and targeting issues in connection with these delivery vehicles may limit their broader utility. Bactofection, the process of transferring genetic material into a mammalian cell via a bacterium, is an alternative gene delivery system that could deliver therapeutic agents to a patient.

In bactofection, the naturally occurring tumor-colonizing characteristics of bacterial species, such as Salmonella, can be modified via genetic manipulation and harnessed to be a targeted delivery vehicle for various therapeutic payloads. In collaboration with Prokarium, Ginkgo will aim to engineer a Salmonella-based bactofection platform for the delivery of RNA payloads to treat cancer patients, building on existing capabilities in RNA therapeutics, viral-based gene therapy and bacterial therapeutics.

"By leveraging Ginkgo's microbial and mammalian foundry capabilities, we are building a highly versatile and innovative bactofection platform to support delivery of novel modalities from the ground up," said Kristen Albright, CEO at Prokarium. "Through this partnership, we are working to unlock a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics."

"Advancements in immunotherapy such as checkpoint inhibitors and CAR-T have transformed the treatment of certain cancers, with tremendous progress across novel modalities continuing to build," said Ena Cratsenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. "With Prokarium, Ginkgo will work to develop a bactofection platform that leverages the convergence of these advancements in immuno-oncology, gene therapy, RNA therapeutics and bacterial therapeutics. Ginkgo is excited to bolster its work with leading companies like Prokarium, which can utilize Ginkgo's services to innovate and expand what is possible with novel therapeutics."

About Prokarium

Prokarium is a biopharmaceutical company leading the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy. The Company's pipeline is designed to unlock a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics by re-engineering evolution into a synthetic biology platform. Prokarium's lead program is focused on transforming the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer by orchestrating immune-driven, long-lasting antitumor effects. Prokarium is based in London, UK. For further information, visit https://www.prokarium.com.

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. For more information, visit ginkgobioworks.com and concentricbyginkgo.com, read our blog, or follow us on social media channels such as Twitter (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGBW), Instagram (@GinkgoBioworks and @ConcentricByGinkgo), or LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the capabilities and potential success of the partnership and Ginkgo's cell programming platform. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "can," "project," "potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to: (i) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities due to a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo operates and plans to operate, variations in performance across competitors, and changes in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business, (ii) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations, and to identify and realize additional business opportunities, (iii) the risk of downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (iv) the unpredictability of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demand for COVID-19 testing and the commercial viability of our COVID-19 testing business, (v) changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and regulations, and (vi) our ability to realize the expected benefits of merger and acquisition transactions. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on November 14, 2022 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will achieve its expectations.

PROKARIUM CONTACT:
Lisa Stone
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GINKGO BIOWORKS INVESTOR CONTACT:
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GINKGO BIOWORKS MEDIA CONTACT:
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