Patrick Boyle, head of Ginkgo's codebase, pivoted at the start of the pandemic from helping scale synthetic meat to helping scale vaccines

From an­tipasti to an­tivi­rals: Ginkgo's qui­et quest to re­make how mR­NA vac­cines are made

Patrick Boyle was work­ing to per­fect a process for mak­ing syn­thet­ic meat last March when the pan­dem­ic broke out and he found him­self on con­stant Zoom calls, as he and the rest of the top sci­en­tists and ex­ec­u­tives at Gink­go Bioworks tried to fig­ure out how they could help com­bat the virus.

The piv­ot from an­tipasti to an­tivi­rals is prob­a­bly a rare one in the his­to­ry of busi­ness, but Gink­go had built a plat­form they be­lieved could rapid­ly en­gi­neer mi­crobes for all sorts of ap­pli­ca­tions. They be­gan, years ago, with a French fra­grance com­pa­ny and more re­cent­ly moved in­to ther­a­peu­tics, team­ing with Roche and Syn­log­ic to de­vel­op new an­tibi­otics. It’s part of a broad­er push that has helped them raise over $700 mil­lion and tipped their pri­vate val­u­a­tion to over $4 bil­lion.

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