Optimvia, Ginkgo Bioworks To Manufacture Biosynthetic Heparin

Optimvia, a biotechnology company specializing in engineering enzymes and their cofactors to synthesize complex therapeutic molecules, and Ginkgo Bioworks, the horizontal platform for cell programming, partnered to improve the manufacturing efficiency of biosynthetic heparin, an essential medicine currently produced from industrial animal agriculture. Under the partnership, Optimvia seeks to leverage […]

Optimvia, a biotechnology company specializing in engineering enzymes and their cofactors to synthesize complex therapeutic molecules, and Ginkgo Bioworks, the horizontal platform for cell programming, partnered to improve the manufacturing efficiency of biosynthetic heparin, an essential medicine currently produced from industrial animal agriculture. Under the partnership, Optimvia seeks to leverage Ginkgo’s cell and enzyme engineering platform, as well as its fermentation process development expertise, to rapidly improve the performance of Optimvia’s biosynthetic heparin manufacturing technology.
 
Ginkgo serves customers across industries seeking to develop new and better products using biotechnology, including partnerships that aim to improve manufacturing processes and strengthen supply chains of key medicines. Heparin is a life-saving drug that prevents blood clots. Producing non-animal derived heparin is intended to be the proof of principle for Optimvia’s platform technology for the synthesis of sulfated glycans. Enabling enzymatic manufacturing could create supply chain diversity and reduce or eliminate the need for high volume extraction of heparin from porcine intestines.
 
“The goal of producing biosynthetic heparin is similar to Genentech’s famous breakthrough of creating insulin through recombinant cell-based methods as opposed to relying on extraction from pig pancreas,” said Keith Kleeman, CEO, Optimvia. “We believe that combining Optimvia’s novel technology and Ginkgo’s capabilities will enable commercially viable, cost effective and safe biosynthetic heparin that could eliminate the world’s dependence on livestock sourced heparin entirely.”
 
“Ginkgo’s platform helps emerging startups develop and optimize their products and reach commercial scale,” said Jason Kelly, CEO, Ginkgo Bioworks. “We’re pleased to welcome Optimvia as the newest member in our ecosystem. We believe scalable synthetic heparin could introduce much needed resiliency to the drug supply chain, improve access to this essential medicine, and reduce our dependence on industrial animal agriculture.”
 

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