Ginkgo Bioworks Acquires Modulus Therapeutics

Today, Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, announced the acquisition of Modulus Therapeutics‘ cell therapy platform assets, including their chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and switch receptor libraries.

Modulus Therapeutics is a cell engineering company focused on the design of next-generation cell therapies for autoimmune diseases. In contrast to legacy cell therapy design, the company uses a combinatorial approach to build and screen cell therapy components that work in concert with one another to yield novel cell behaviors.

Modulus has used its platform to develop and screen libraries of novel NK-specific and T-cell specific CAR and switch receptor designs, which enable improved control and performance of immune cell-based therapies. This technology has the potential to improve the safety and efficacy of cell therapies by allowing for more precise control over activation and targeting. Modulus’ CAR-NK and CAR-T components are designed to enhance proliferation and cytotoxicity, even in inhospitable cellular environments, providing a deeper and more durable response against target cells.

Modulus’ assets complement Ginkgo’s extensive cell therapy capabilities. With this addition, Ginkgo looks forward to supporting its customers who are improving the performance of T-cell and NK-cell based CAR therapies to treat solid tumors, autoimmune, and other diseases.

Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks: “Modulus Therapeutics has built an array of incredible cell therapy assets that we are excited to add into the significant cell therapy capabilities Ginkgo has developed to date. Modulus’ CAR and switch receptor designs and libraries seamlessly integrate into our existing infrastructure and offerings. We are excited to put these new assets to work for our customers and contribute to the transformative advancements in CAR and cell therapies.”

Max Darnell, CEO and co-founder of Modulus Therapeutics: “At Modulus, we have always been motivated by enhancing access to cutting-edge cell therapy innovation. We’re very pleased that Ginkgo Bioworks shares this commitment and can leverage our technology to help transform oncology and autoimmune cell therapies. We are thrilled to contribute our innovative designs to the Ginkgo ecosystem, and look forward to seeing these tools deployed across a range of Ginkgo-partnered programs.”

Ginkgo’s platform works to enable its partners to sample CAR domains with a variety of functional roles and structural positions, sourced from diverse immune cell types. This approach to cell therapy discovery allows partners to thoroughly sample the breadth of therapeutic activities a CAR can produce. Last year, Ginkgo entered a partnership with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) to discover and develop next-generation CAR-T cell therapies. Ginkgo also presented new data on its high throughput pooled screening method to discover novel CAR-T designs for solid tumors at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in 2022, as well as data on its high-throughput screening platform for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) libraries at the 26th American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting in 2023. The poster highlighted Ginkgo’s Foundry-enabled methods for large-scale, combinatorial library design and screening of CAR domains for improved persistence. Ginkgo expects Modulus’ cell therapy assets to help Ginkgo continue to strengthen its CAR-T research & development offerings.

Learn more about Ginkgo Cell Therapy Services here.

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo’s biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. For more information, visit and, read our blog, or follow us on social media channels such as X (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGBW), Instagram (@GinkgoBioworks), Threads (@GinkgoBioworks) or LinkedIn.

About Modulus Therapeutics

Modulus is engineering next-generation immune cell therapies. By leveraging modern molecular engineering tools, deployed in a cell therapy-specific context, Modulus is rewiring immune cells to achieve unique sense-and-respond capabilities without the need for synthetic gene circuits. Modulus is focused on novel context-responsive CAR-NK cells in autoimmunity that feed themselves off of the autoimmune microenvironment for enhanced safety and efficacy. For more information, find us on LinkedIn.