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Concentric by Ginkgo Crosses 10 Million Samples Tested and Expands Testing and Sequencing Capabilities to Detect Monkeypox and Other Pathogens, as Part of Scaling Its Global Biosecurity Infrastructure

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Concentric by Ginkgo Crosses 10 Million Samples Tested and Expands Testing and Sequencing Capabilities to Detect Monkeypox and Other Pathogens, as Part of Scaling Its Global Biosecurity Infrastructure | Pharmtech Focus

Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, today announced plans to further scale and expand its pathogen monitoring programs through its biosecurity and public health initiative, Concentric by Ginkgo. Concentric’s next-generation platform—launched in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—helps to provide communities and public health leaders with a “weather map” of biological data, giving them the information they need to prepare for biological threats. Concentric is expanding its offerings to monitor for a variety of infectious diseases in addition to SARS-CoV-2, as well as introducing services across new modalities for passive monitoring.

Concentric is committed to working with its existing national network of laboratory partners to perform rapid test development and sample screening to be ready for future biological threats—whether the threat is a new COVID-19 variant, an unexpected outbreak of a known pathogen like monkeypox, or something never seen before. Concentric is expanding its pathogen detection and sequencing capabilities to include novel assays for pathogens like monkeypox, along with multiplex assays that can assess multiple pathogen targets at once. Working with its national network of laboratory partners and associated technical capabilities, Concentric has built the flexibility to pivot quickly to respond to a plethora of biological threats as they arise.

Concentric empowers communities and public health officials across the globe with a range of turnkey solutions for COVID-19 monitoring. Concentric has tested over 10 million samples to date and sequenced more than 35,000 viral genomes. Working with public health leaders at the federal, state, and local levels, Concentric has enabled COVID-19 testing for thousands of  schoolsairports, and community organizations across the country.

Concentric’s sequencing capabilities provide further targeted insight into viral variants to facilitate tailored public health responses. Through its traveler-based SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance program in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and XpresCheck®, Concentric was the first in the nation to identify Omicron sublineages BA.2 and BA.3. Concentric will continue to scale up its sequencing capacity nationwide.

Concentric is working to build up next-generation biosecurity, bio-resilience, and public health infrastructure. The company is currently piloting new offerings to passively monitor air and wastewater to enable early warning for the pathogens circulating in a community. Recognizing that biosecurity must be global, Concentric is collaborating internationally to develop global pathogen monitoring capabilities with partners like Africa CDCmRNA Victoria, and First Serv.

“Monkeypox won’t be the last unexpected pathogen that impacts our health and security in the coming years, and we need to be prepared for anything,” said Matt McKnight, General Manager for Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. “Building infrastructure like testing, passive monitoring, and sequencing on a global scale is the key to developing a biosecurity ‘weather map’ through which we can monitor and assess emerging threats. The idea behind many of Concentric’s offerings is to get ahead of new variants and outbreaks before they spread. Technologies for public health have been ignored for too long; we are proud to be building an integrated service and data platform to empower our public health and global health leadership with the capabilities they need to make timely and targeted interventions.”

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