The program can be an effective early warning
system for public health and national security officials,
leveraging voluntary nasal and wastewater sampling from
international travelers at major U.S. airports
BOSTON, Nov. 6, 2023
/PRNewswire/ -- Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), which is building the
leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, and XWELL,
Inc. (Nasdaq: XWEL) today announced they are expanding their work
with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's)
Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance program (TGS) to test for more
than 30 additional priority pathogens, in addition to SARS-CoV-2.
TGS is a flexible, multimodal platform that consists of three
complementary approaches of sample collection from arriving
international travelers at U.S. airports, including voluntary nasal
swabbing, aircraft wastewater, and airport wastewater sampling to
enhance early detection of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and other
pathogens, and fills gaps in global surveillance.
Concentric by Ginkgo, the biosecurity and public health unit of
Ginkgo Bioworks, and XpresCheck by XWELL, are partnering to expand
their work with the CDC to monitor more than 30 new viruses,
bacteria, and antimicrobial resistance targets including several
seasonal respiratory pathogens, such as influenza A and B, RSV, and
SARS-CoV-2. The partners continue to help the CDC grow TGS's
capabilities to detect pathogens as early as possible, allowing for
the best public health response.
The program expansion will launch at four of the program's seven
major international airports (New
York, JFK, San Francisco,
Boston, and Washington DC, Dulles).
The TGS program has proven to be an agile and beneficial asset
to public health officials in the United States—quickly adapting to
an evolving pandemic in real time since it launched in 2021. As of
October 2023, TGS has enlisted over
370,000 travelers and maintains an ongoing enrollment of around
6,000 volunteer travelers weekly. The program covers travelers from
all World Health Organization regions and more than 135 countries.
Since its inception, the program has sequenced more than 14,000
samples and made the genomic data available on several public
health platforms to enable further analysis. The expansion will
enhance the program's ability to monitor and change focus as needed
to identify priority pathogens. The TGS program can augment global
surveillance systems, especially as testing and sequencing
information become limited as Covid-19 monitoring wanes.
"By building sustainable, scalable infrastructure that is
capable of detecting biological threats beyond SARS-CoV-2, the TGS
program is a global leader in the evolution of biosecurity," said
Matt McKnight, General Manager for
Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks. "Persistent monitoring can give
officials an early warning by offering a view into how pathogens
spread across the globe."
TGS was among the first to detect many new SARS-CoV-2 variants
entering the United States up to
six weeks before they were reported elsewhere, including Omicron
BA2, BA3, XBB, and BA2.86 – demonstrating the program's valuable
ability to detect new variants early.
"With air travel exceeding pre-pandemic levels and the ongoing
spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, it is crucial that we
continue to test," said XpresCheck CEO Ezra
Ernst. "The data that we collect provides crucial insights
for public health officials to inform how best to protect our
nation from the threat of evolving viruses. We thank the volunteers
who elect to swab their noses in service to our national
security and public health."
About XWELL, Inc.
XWELL, Inc. (Nasdaq: XWEL) is a
leading global health and wellness holding company operating
multiple brands: XpresSpa®, Treat™, Naples Wax
Center®, XpresCheck® and HyperPointe™.
- XpresSpa is a leading airport retailer of wellness services and
related products, with 30 locations in 14 airports globally.
- Treat is a travel wellness brand and a fully integrated concept
blending technology with traditional brick and mortar offerings to
provide a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being for
- Naples Wax Center is a group of upscale skin care boutiques in
Florida and represents the first
step in building the Company's retail portfolio outside the
- XpresCheck is a provider of screening and diagnostic testing in
partnership with the CDC and Concentric by Ginkgo, conducting
bio-surveillance monitoring in its airport locations to identify
new SARS-CoV2 variants of interest and concern as well as other
pathogens entering the country from across the world.
- HyperPointe is a leading digital healthcare and data analytics
relationship company serving the global healthcare industry.
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
ginkgobioworks.com and concentricbyginkgo.com, read our blog, or
follow us on social media channels such as X (formerly known as
Twitter) (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGinkgo), Instagram
(@GinkgoBioworks and @ConcentricByGinkgo), Threads
(@GinkgoBioworks), or LinkedIn.
Forward-Looking Statements of XWELL, Inc.
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, including the Company's current plans and
expectations relating to the business and operations and future
store openings for Naples Wax Center, are based upon information
available to XWELL 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 the
Company'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 XWELL, or other matters and
attributable to XWELL or any person acting on its behalf are
expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements
above. XWELL 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.
Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks
press release contains certain forward-looking statements within
the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements
regarding the capabilities and 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) volatility in the price of Ginkgo's securities 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, and changes
in laws and regulations affecting Ginkgo's business, (ii) the
ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other
expectations, and to identify and realize additional business
opportunities, (iii) the risk of downturns in demand for products
using synthetic biology, (iv) the uncertainty regarding the demand
for passive monitoring programs and biosecurity services, (v)
changes to the biosecurity industry, including due to advancements
in technology, emerging competition and evolution in industry
demands, standards and regulations, (vi) our ability to realize the
expected benefits of merger and acquisition transactions, (vii) the
outcome of any legal proceedings against Ginkgo, including as a
result of recent acquisitions, (viii) our ability to realize the
expected benefits from and the success of our Foundry platform
programs, (ix) our ability to successfully develop engineered
cells, bioprocesses, data packages or other deliverables, and (x)
the product development or commercialization success of our
customers. 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 August 9, 2023 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.
GINKGO BIOWORKS INVESTOR
GINKGO BIOWORKS MEDIA
XWELL MEDIA CONTACT:
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SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks