Exclusive: Ginkgo teams with unknown upstart in hunt for Covid-19 antibody
Ginkgo Bioworks, with its vast warehouses of automated robots and bioreactors, has played a behind-the-scenes role in the anti-Covid fight since the start of the pandemic. They’ve helped produce the mRNA for Moderna’s mRNA vaccine, joined a consortium to help discover and analyze antibodies, and they’ve quietly laid out grand plans to use Illumina machines to test millions of Americans per day.
Now, for the first time, the synthetic biology behemoth is backing a Covid-19 drug, joining forces with a biotech you’ve never heard of to do so. They’ll work with Totient, an antibody-focused startup that is just emerging from stealth mode today, to turn their alternate means of generating virus-neutralizing into a treatment that could potentially treat or temporarily prevent infection. It’s a small part of a larger strategy Ginkgo hopes can both make a broad impact on the latter season of the pandemic.
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