Press Release
September 14, 2017

Ginkgo Bioworks and Bayer Form New Company Focused on Sustainable Agriculture with $100 Million Series A Investment

Goodwin’s Life Sciences team advised Ginkgo Bioworks in its agreement with Bayer to create a new company focused on the plant microbiome. The deal provides a Series A investment of $100 million by its parent companies and Viking Global Investors LP.  In addition to the initial investment, Ginkgo will provide exclusive access to its technology, laboratory and office spaces, and will build a new facility exclusively for the new company. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and expected to occur at the end of 2017.

The new company, which will operate out of Ginkgo’s Boston Seaport facility, will focus on technologies to improve plant-associated microbes with a major focus on nitrogen fixation. Dr. Mike Miille will be named interim CEO of the new company, and the board of directors will be composed of two representatives from Ginkgo Bioworks – Dr. Jason Kelly and Dr. Reshma Shetty – and two representatives from Bayer – Dr. Axel Bouchon and Dr. Juergen Eckhardt. The new biotech company is the fifth investment by the Bayer LifeScience Center, whose mission is to uncover, encourage and activate fundamental breakthroughs by creating and building new companies together with entrepreneurial best-in-class partners, such as Ginkgo Bioworks for synthetic biology.

Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet – biology – to grow products instead of manufacture them. The company’s technology platform is bringing biotechnology into consumer goods markets, enabling fragrance, cosmetic, nutrition and food companies to make better products.

Bayer offers a broad portfolio of biological crop protection products to farmers based on microorganisms.

The Goodwin team was led by partners Robert Puopolo and Mitch Bloom and included partner Daniel Karelitz and associate Todd Pollock.

For additional details on the transaction, please read the press release.