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Ginkgo Bioworks Collaborating With Access Bio on COVID-19 Antigen Tests

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks said on Friday that it is collaborating with New Jersey-based diagnostics firm Access Bio on rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.

Boston-based Ginkgo said that it is providing Access Bio with an undisclosed amount of funding to expand manufacturing capacity for the tests. In addition, Ginkgo will offer at least 10 million of the antigen test kits through its Concentric by Ginkgo service, which provides end-to-end testing for organizations, including antigen and PCR-based tests.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Tests that return quick results are an important part of giving individuals the data they need to break transmission chains," Ginkgo Bioworks Chief Commercial Officer Matt McKnight said in a statement. "As schools try to stay open and the holidays approach, while cases continue to surge across the country, we are excited to make another option available in our collective fight against this pandemic."

The companies also plan to collaborate on future rapid tests that leverage Ginkgo's synthetic biology technology to improve antibodies. 

Earlier this year, Ginkgo received a $70 million investment from Illumina, General Atlantic, and Viking Global Investors, to build large-scale sequencing-based coronavirus testing infrastructure. Ginkgo planned to couple Illumina's sequencing technology with its own hardware and software to potentially increase COVID-19 testing capacity to "unprecedented scale."