Apr. 22, 2019
Joyn Bio, the ag-biotech company engineering microbes for more sustainable agriculture, announced it has signed a long-term lease within Bayer's Vegetable Seed Facility in Woodland, California. The space will become home to Joyn's plant sciences team, where they will accelerate ongoing research and in planta evaluation. Additionally, Joyn has appointed Bayer Head of Research and Development for Crop Science, Dr. Robert Reiter, to its board of directors.
The new lease reflects the rapid progress Joyn has made toward its vision to make modern agriculture approaches more sustainable using synthetic biology. In just 18 months, the R&D team in Boston developed microbial leads that are ready to move into greenhouse and micro plot testing. Engineered to reduce the amount of traditional chemical fertilizer required to meet the growing demand for crops like corn, wheat and rice, Joyn's microbes enable plants to partially fulfill their nitrogen needs, offering growers a reliable and sustainable alternative. Many estimate that by 2050, farmers must increase food production by 70 percent to meet the needs of the growing global population, and Joyn's solutions will help growers meet this demand without the environmental burden. The Woodland site offers the resources, capacity and scale needed to evaluate microbe performance in commercial crop plants.
"The agriculture industry is long overdue for innovation that offers growers high-performing, affordable and sustainable microbial solutions. Opening the doors to a new space dedicated entirely to research and testing is a milestone in our journey toward offering farmers alternatives that address some of their biggest challenges," said Dr. Mike Miille, CEO of Joyn Bio. "We have made immense strides in microbe development since our founding less than two years ago and more advanced testing is the next step in making our mission a reality. We look forward to joining the Woodlandcommunity and continuing our efforts to leverage synthetic biology for more sustainable agriculture practices."
The new facility – with 12,500 square-feet of lab, office and greenhouse space – is a significant expansion from Joyn's current tenancy in the Bayer CoLaborator in West Sacramento. The Woodland location complements Joyn's existing operations at Ginkgo Bioworks in Boston, where Joyn uses the Ginkgo foundries for biological engineering to develop nitrogen-fixing bacteria based on Bayer's library of more than 100,000 proprietary microbial strains. Between Northern California and Boston, Joyn is now better equipped to leverage the unique resources of its two parent companies, Bayer and Ginkgo, respectively.
This month, Joyn also welcomed Bayer Head of Research and Development for Crop Science and industry veteran, Dr. Robert Reiter, as its newest board member. Reiter brings nearly 30 years of experience in discovering, developing and delivering innovative R&D approaches in crop science. As a member of Bayer's executive leadership team, Reiter oversees the crop science research and development pipeline, leading thousands of scientists in building world-class agricultural solutions with the goal of helping farmers grow enough safe and affordable food while protecting the planet.
"This technology is expanding the way the industry thinks about sustainable agricultural and the deep expertise Joyn's team brings to the table, coupled with Bayer's extensive knowledge in microbial products, gives them a real advantage in this space," said Dr. Robert Reiter, Head of R&D, Crop Science at Bayer. "The need for agricultural practices that are good for both the planet and farmers is coming into clearer focus every day. I'm thrilled to be a part of building those solutions."