10 January 2023 Research and Technology Licensing Partnership Between Prokarium and Ginkgo Bioworks to Explore RNA Therapeutics and Immuno-oncology Options

Prokarium, a portfolio company specialized in biosciences and drug exploration, especially in the field of oncology for microbial immunotherapy, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building a leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, announced a partnership to develop a bacterial platform to offer treatment options using RNA.

In this regard, Dr. Khalid bin Saad Al-Saleh, CEO of Riyadh Valley Company, commented that: “Prokarium Company is one of the investment portfolio companies of Riyadh Valley Company – the investment arm of King Saud University – and it was invested in after the company’s success in occupying a leading position in the biosciences and because of its profound experience in developing medicines and vaccines. Establishing scientific partnerships with global companies such as Ginkgo BioWorks is a pivotal point in the transformation of vital startups and their transition to greater horizons to serve humanity by providing an innovative platform for immuno-oncology therapeutics.”

Christine Albright, CEO of Prokarium, said: “Through this partnership, leveraging Ginkgo’s capabilities in the microbial and mammalian sectors to build an innovative, versatile platform based on gene therapy using bacteria, which could enable treatment options and launch a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics.”

Ena Cratsenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks, said: “Advances in immuno-oncology have transformed the treatment of some cancers recently and the creation of a bacterial platform in partnership with Prokarium is contributing to this scientific advancement and we are excited to be working with industry leaders such as Prokarium, which can leverage our capabilities to innovate and scale with new therapeutics.”

It should also be noted that last year, Ginkgo Bioworks announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Investment to develop biotechnology and biosecurity capabilities and deploy new public health initiatives in the Kingdom.

Riyadh Valley Company investment in Prokarium comes within RVC strategy to invest locally and internationally to build a balanced investment portfolio that achieves the objectives of King Saud University and contributes to the development of the knowledge economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.