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New animal health company to leverage microbiome technology

Elanco and Ginkgo Bioworks launched BiomEdit which aims to discover and develop animal health products that leverage microbiome science to improve animal health and production.

New animal health company to leverage microbiome technology
Elanco new headquarters.

April 19, 2022


Elanco Animal Health Incorporated and Ginkgo Bioworks launched BiomEdit, a microbiome innovation company that is expected to discover, develop and introduce novel probiotics, bioactive molecules, engineered microbial medicines and microbial monitoring services for animal health.

Microbiome science is a rapidly growing field creating breakthroughs in animal health based on the microbial communities in animals and the surrounding environment. BiomEdit intends to discover, develop and introduce differentiated products that address some of the greatest needs for innovation in animal health, including medicated feed ingredients, nutritional health and therapeutics for livestock and pet species, as well as biosecurity technology for animal disease monitoring.

In October 2021, Elanco announced its intention to carve out its microbiome platform and pipeline under the leadership of Aaron Schacht, BiomEdit CEO and former Elanco executive vice president of Innovation, Regulatory and Business Development, to concentrate and focus more resources on its high-value late-stage Pet Health pipeline. BiomEdit is the result of this separation and was developed with Ferment Co., the company creation studio that helps ideate and launches new companies across a variety of end-markets that use cell programming to support human and environmental health and well-being.

Elanco will contribute intellectual property and a pipeline of ongoing programs to BiomEdit, which will be staffed with members of the former Elanco microbiome R&D team. The team brings the expertise and experience needed to build on the foundation of microbiome work started at Elanco. By leveraging foundational programs from Elanco, intellectual property from both Elanco and Ginkgo, and an experienced team, BiomEdit should be well-positioned as a stand-alone company to develop and launch innovative products to address unmet needs in animal health.

Ginkgo has significant expertise in the discovery, design and monitoring of microbes at scale for a wide array of functions. BiomEdit plans to leverage Ginkgo's state-of-the-art cell programming platform to improve the design and development of probiotics, bioactives, engineered microbial medicines, and microbial monitoring services. BiomEdit joins other Ginkgo Bioworks platform ventures, such as Joyn Bio, Motif FoodWorks, Allonnia, Arcaea, Verb Biotics and Ayana Bio.

New headquarters for Elanco

The company unveiled plans for its new global headquarters featuring environmentally-sustainable, employee-focused design and a state-of-the-art innovation center. The company – which grew from a small division of Eli Lilly & Company to a $4.7 billion independent global animal health leader – plans to enter its seventh decade by breathing life into a long-idle site close to its birthplace.

“When we talk about the new headquarters, we’re talking about ‘building as a verb, not a noun,’” said Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and CEO. “We’re building Elanco’s next era of growth and innovation for one of the industry’s most trusted brands, we’re building paths to help connect Indianapolis’ historic west side with its center, and we’re building a vibrant destination for our nearly 10,000 global employees to collaborate, connect and invent. Finally, we believe Indianapolis is poised to become an epicenter of animal health innovation, and we’re excited to be among the architects building its foundation.”

The planned 220,000 square foot six-story office structure and connected innovation and collaboration buildings will occupy 40 acres of the former General Motors Stamping Plant site on the western edge of the White River, creating a greenspace-forward campus expanding White River State Park. The glass-faced building, once constructed, will add to the skyline of Indianapolis, pushing downtown west, connecting the Valley neighborhood with the Circle via a walkable, bikeable corridor with a park, a bus route, and an enhanced trail system.

Elanco’s campus is also designed to serve as the foundation of a planned animal health epicenter in Indianapolis. 

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