Ceres Nanosciences, a global leader in developing wastewater testing methods based on its Nanotrap® technology, and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, today announced that they are partnering to bring pathogen monitoring capabilities to laboratories around the world. Pathogen monitoring and analysis capabilities, including in wastewater, are designed to help public health institutions address regional biosecurity challenges.
Supported by the NIH RADx Initiative, Ceres developed their Nanotrap technology for robust, sensitive, and time-saving methods to detect a wide range of pathogens in wastewater samples and has deployed those methods to a network of testing sites in the United States. These sites provide wastewater testing services nationwide to deliver valuable public health data, such as information about the relative abundance of COVID-19 variant groups over time in a community’s wastewater, to the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System and to state, local, and Tribal decision makers.
Recently, Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity unit of Ginkgo Bioworks, as part of a CDC program, demonstrated in a study with partners from XPresCheck and Louisiana State University that coupling Ceres’ aircraft wastewater testing methods with Concentric’s analysis can enable early detection of variants of SARS-CoV-2. San Francisco International Airport was the first airport to announce that it will continuously monitor airplane wastewater samples as part of a CDC program operated by Concentric and XpresCheck.
Under the partnership between Ceres and Concentric, labs in countries where Concentric has biosecurity programs receive on-site training and the materials needed to implement the standardized and proven wastewater testing workflow from Ceres. Labs also receive biosecurity tools and data infrastructure to leverage automation, data analysis, bioinformatics capabilities, and other critical genomic sequencing technologies.
Together, Ceres and Concentric have set up labs in the Middle East and Africa through this collaboration, offering a cutting-edge approach to biosurveillance technologies and capacity building for labs around the world that are part of Concentric’s global pathogen monitoring network.
“Under our NIH RADx Initiative, we demonstrated that we can quickly stand up improved wastewater testing capabilities for labs that are experts or novices in the space,” said Robbie Barbero, Chief Business Officer at Ceres Nanosciences. “We are delighted now to be partnering with a global leader like Concentric to build a robust public health framework worldwide.”
“Ceres Nanosciences has been a terrific partner in developing effective and innovative methods for identifying pathogens in wastewater,” said Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. “By combining their laboratory expertise with our global footprint, we are building a robust global biological radar to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats.”