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Ropes & Gray Advises Ginkgo Bioworks in $83 Million Bayer Collaboration to Build Agricultural Biologicals R&D Platform

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Ropes & Gray advised Ginkgo Bioworks, a horizontal platform for cell programming, in an agreement with Bayer to expand Ginkgo’s platform capabilities in agricultural biologicals. These capabilities will be built pursuant to a transaction in which Ginkgo will acquire Bayer’s 175,000 square foot West Sacramento Biologics Research & Development site team, and internal discovery and lead platform for approximately $83 million. Ginkgo will also integrate the R&D platform assets from Joyn Bio, a joint venture between Ginkgo and Leaps by Bayer formed in 2017. The transaction was announced on July 25.

Bayer will be the first major partner of Ginkgo’s expanded agricultural biologicals platform, entering into a new collaboration to advance Joyn Bio’s nitrogen fixation program and new programs in areas including crop protection and carbon sequestration.

As part of the three-year strategic partnership, Ginkgo will provide research services to Bayer in the field of agricultural biologicals with the potential to earn royalties on net sales from products developed under the partnership.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by intellectual property transactions partner Amanda Austin, life sciences M&A counsel Matt Byron and life sciences M&A associates Amanda White  and Lisa Folkerth and included mergers & acquisitions partner Marko Zatylny, employment & benefits partners Renata Ferrari and Megan Bisk, tax partner Pam Glazier, litigation & enforcement partners Martin Crisp, real estate partner Peter Alpert, private equity partner Milap Patel, litigation & enforcement counsel Joseph Rafferty and real estate counsel Laurie Nelson.

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