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Joyn Bio and NewLeaf Symbiotics Form $75 Million Partnership

These firms are slated to develop novel microbes over seven-year technology collaboration.

NewLeaf Symbiotics and Joyn Bio have announced a long-term partnership valued at up to $75 million to bring a new microbe class that the firms say will benefit crop health and protection. Through this deal, Joyn Bio, an ag-biotech company that engineers microbes for more sustainable agriculture, will gain access to NewLeaf’s library of proprietary, highly characterized strains of plant colonizing microbes, according to officials for the companies. Joyn Bio will engineer these microbes to bring novel disease and pest-control options to farmers and reduce their reliance on chemicals. 

“Partnering with NewLeaf’s team of experts and technology is game-changing for Joyn Bio and our efforts to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in the agriculture industry. Our team at Joyn will now be better equipped to take these microbes to the next level of performance and ultimately into the field,” said Mike Miille, CEO of Joyn Bio, in a company news release. “The potential to pair our platform for microbial engineering with NewLeaf’s microbes will bring unprecedented performance to biological agriculture solutions.”
“The challenges farmers face daily require bold and novel solutions, and the community is eager for the next wave of agriculture innovation – and microbes are powerful engines for helping crops and farming businesses thrive,” said Tom Laurita, CEO and cofounder of NewLeaf Symbiotics, in a company news release. “This collaboration with Joyn is a significant milestone for us and can lead to revolutionary advancements in sustainable agriculture.”
NewLeaf officials say the firm has deep expertise and IP in genomics and production due to its platform, the Prescriptive Biologics Knowledgebase. This computational engine curates genotype and phenotype data and predicts the performance of microbes from the vast NewLeaf library, according to NewLeaf officials. Joyn Bio brings deep expertise in crop science along with exclusive access to the genetic codebase and biological engineering foundries of Ginkgo Bioworks, the leader in organism design, say Joyn Bio officials.

 This collaboration will reduce the time to market for Joyn’s flagship nitrogen-fixing microbe by two to three years and will support the company’s expansion into crop protection, according to Joyn Bio officials. The firm will have an exclusive license to leverage select NewLeaf microbes that deliver a range of important benefits to plants, including nitrogen-fixation and crop-protection capabilities. NewLeaf will receive an upfront payment and payments for achieved milestones throughout the agreement term, according to company officials. 

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