Public-private partnership to enable the
development of innovative, sustainable infrastructure designed to
set the global standard for travel biosecurity
BOSTON and NEW
YORK, Aug. 15,
2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA) and
XpresSpa Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XSPA) announced they will continue to
support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's)
traveler-based SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance program through a
new contract awarded August 12, 2022.
The partnership is expected to support public health and
biosecurity services totaling approximately $16 million, with an overall potential to
exceed $61 million based on CDC
program options and public health priorities. As COVID-19
sublineages and other biological threats continue to emerge, the
partners plan to expand the program footprint and incorporate
innovative modalities and offerings, such as monitoring of
wastewater from aircraft lavatories.
Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity and public health
initiative of Ginkgo Bioworks, XpresCheck by XpresSpa Group, a
leading provider of COVID-19 surveillance and diagnostic testing in
U.S. airports, and CDC have partnered since August 2021 to deliver timely public health data
on SARS-CoV-2 variants and their sublineages, including the first
U.S. detections of Omicron BA.2 and BA.3. The expanded program will
serve as an early warning system to detect new or emerging
SARS-CoV-2 variants, and can facilitate response to future
travel-associated outbreaks and pandemics. It provides a pulse of
COVID-19 cases and the arrival of variants among international
travelers, delivering important data as the country monitors the
global COVID-19 situation.
The joint biosecurity effort, which started as a pilot program
last year, has grown to become the nation's first large-scale,
sustained travel biosecurity platform, currently operating in four
of the busiest international airports in the U.S.: John F.
Kennedy International Airport
(JFK); Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR); San Francisco International Airport (SFO); and
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Currently,
international travelers arriving at these airports from select
countries can enroll in the program on a voluntary basis and be
sampled for SARS-CoV-2 for pathogen surveillance purposes. Samples
are then sent to a lab in Concentric's network—run by an academic
or private partner, such as Eurofins—and positive samples undergo
viral genomic sequencing.
The program is slated to expand its footprint with additional
testing sites in the existing airport locations along with a new
location at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) this
fall, to accommodate a higher volume and diversity of passengers.
Concentric and XpresCheck have also led a research and development
effort on the use of wastewater monitoring from arriving aircraft
as an innovative new tool for travel biosecurity, and plan to work
with CDC to explore deployment at scale as a part of the pathogen
Dr. Cindy Friedman, Chief of
CDC's Travelers' Health Branch, stated, "This program has clearly
demonstrated its potential to provide early warning for new
COVID-19 variants, allowing researchers and public health officials
across the country time to prepare for targeted response. As
many countries ramp down their pathogen surveillance efforts, we
expect the partnership will play an increasingly important role not
just nationally, but globally. We're grateful to all the travelers
who have participated and done their part to advance innovation in
"Through our close partnership with CDC and XpresCheck, we've
been able to build an effective biosecurity platform at critical
points of entry to help public health officials mount timely and
targeted responses to COVID-19," said Matt
McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo. "We share
a collaborative, long-term innovation mindset, and we believe this
program expansion will give us the opportunity to develop and scale
the capabilities needed to provide a global weather map of
infectious disease and help manage travel-associated outbreaks and
pandemics in the years to come. Public-private partnerships like
this help disrupt the panic-neglect cycle that holds us back from
achieving accessible and sustainable biosecurity for everyone."
"Building upon the foundation we previously established amidst
the height of the pandemic, the evolution of this program is
biosurveillance at scale, and we believe will deliver a further
fortified frontline defense to the identification of and protection
against COVID-19," stated Ezra
Ernst, Chief Executive Officer of XpresCheck. "Through the
renewed investment in this initiative, we and our partners are
striving to set a standard for traveler biosecurity. With our
understanding of travelers during their journey, alongside the
expertise of CDC and Concentric, we're bringing peace of mind to
the public and providing public health officials with key insights
to track the spread of disease."
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program
cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform
is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from
food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals.
Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response
efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing
optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information,
About XpresSpa Group,
XpresSpa Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XSPA) is a leading global health
and wellness holding company operating four brands: XpresCheck®,
XpresSpa®, Treat™ and HyperPointe.
- XpresSpa is a leading airport retailer of wellness services and
related products, with 26 locations in 13 airports globally.
- Treat is a travel health and wellness brand that is providing
on-demand access to healthcare through technology and personalized
services, including two domestic airport locations.
- XpresCheck is a leading provider of Covid-19 screening and
diagnostic testing with 15 locations in 12 domestic airports.
XpresCheck is also partnered with CDC and Concentric by Ginkgo,
conducting biosurveillance monitoring in its airport locations to
identify existing and new SARS-CoV-2 variants.
- HyperPointe is a leading digital healthcare and data analytics
relationship company serving the global healthcare industry.
To learn more about XpresCheck, visit: www.XpresCheck.com
To learn more about XpresSpa, visit www.XpresSpa.com
To learn more about Treat, visit: www.Treat.com
To learn more about HyperPointe, visit: www.HyperPointe.com
Twitter: @xprescheck and Instagram: @realxprescheck
Twitter: @XpresSpa and Instagram: @XpresSpa
Twitter: @Treat_Care and Instagram: @treat_care
Ginkgo Bioworks Contacts:
XpresSpa Group Contacts:
Forward-Looking Statements of
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements
within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including
statements regarding the potential success of the partnership and
Ginkgo's biosecurity platform. These forward-looking statements
generally are identified by the words "believe," "can," "project,"
"potential," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend,"
"strategy," "future," "opportunity," "plan," "may," "should,"
"will," "would," "will be," "will continue," "will likely result,"
and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are
predictions, projections and other statements about future events
that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a
result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could
cause actual future events to differ materially from the
forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not
limited to: (i) the effect of Ginkgo's business combination with
Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring Eagle") on Ginkgo's
business relationships, performance, and business generally, (ii)
risks that the business combination disrupts current plans of
Ginkgo and potential difficulties in Ginkgo's employee retention,
(iii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted
against Ginkgo related to its business combination with Soaring
Eagle, (iv) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities now that
it is a public company due to a variety of factors, including
changes in the competitive and highly regulated industries in which
Ginkgo operates and plans to operate, variations in performance
across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting
Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined capital structure,
(v) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other
expectations after the completion of the business combination, and
identify and realize additional opportunities, (vi) the risk of
downturns in demand for products using synthetic biology, (vii) the
unpredictability of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the
demand for COVID-19 testing and the commercial viability of our
COVID-19 testing business, (viii) changes to the biosecurity
industry, including due to advancements in technology, emerging
competition and evolution in industry demands, standards and
regulations, and (ix) our ability to close and realize the expected
benefits of pending merger and acquisition transactions. The
foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. You should carefully
consider the foregoing factors and the other risks and
uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" section of Ginkgo's
quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on May 16,
2022 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to time
with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results
to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking
statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date
they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on
forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no obligation and
does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events,
or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance that it will
achieve its expectations.
Forward-Looking Statements of
XpresSpa Group, Inc.
This press release may contain "forward-looking" statements
within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933,
and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These
include statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise
include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates,"
"estimates," "projects," "intends," "should," "seeks," "future,"
"continue," or the negative of such terms, or other comparable
terminology. Forward-looking statements relating to expectations
about future results or events are based upon information available
to XpresSpa Group as of today's date and are not guarantees of the
future performance of the Company, and actual results may vary
materially from the results and expectations discussed. Additional
information concerning these and other risks is contained in
XpresSpa Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on
Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other Securities and
Exchange Commission filings. All subsequent written and oral
forward-looking statements concerning XpresSpa Group, or other
matters and attributable to XpresSpa Group or any person acting on
its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the
cautionary statements above. XpresSpa Group does not undertake any
obligation to publicly update any of these forward-looking
statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after
the date hereof.
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SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks