Ginkgo Bioworks has secured a position on a potential 10-year Defense Department omnibus contract worth up to $8.3 billion for chemical and biosecurity projects.
The company said Wednesday it will develop and deploy biosecurity tools as the only synthetic biology firm on the Joint Enterprise Research, Development, Acquisition and Production/Procurement indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.
Gingko’s biosecurity tools will include the final software under development for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity‘s Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats and Finding Engineered Linked Indicators programs.
Battelle heads the Fun GCAT program team which includes Twist Bioscience and One Codex. The program is meant to provide software tools to screen and synthesize DNA, aiming to identify pathogenic or toxic sequences.
In addition, Ginkgo has partnered with Northrop Grumman and tapped Andrew Weber, former assistant DoD secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, as an adviser for the FELIX program prime contract. That program is intended to develop deep learning tools for the detection of possible bioerror or bioterror events through DNA sequence identification.
Ginkgo also supports Battelle on a potential four-year, $43.5 million task order under the Homeland Defense and Security Technical Area Task contract from DoD’s Information Analysis Center. The HD TAT task order is geared to facilitate the prevention, preparation, response and recovery to national biological incidents through bio-threat characterization.