Sumitomo taps Ginkgo Bioworks to replace animal-sourced personal care ingredient


In Boston, synthetic biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks and Sumitomo Chemical have announced a partnership to identify biobased ingredients for cosmetics and personal care applications. 

Sumitomo Chemical will leverage Ginkgo’s codebase and expertise in organism engineering to sustainably produce molecules used in products across a broad range of industries. The target molecule is planned to be used in the personal care and cosmetic industries and is envisioned to augment or replace one that is otherwise currently gathered from animal sources.

This is a new project in addition to the companies’ existing collaboration, which began in 2021 and focuses on biobased production of selected molecules.  

“The cosmetics industry is demanding more sustainable and cost-competitive beauty and personal care products, as are many others we serve, and we see tremendous potential in synthetic biology’s ability to make this possible at a commercial scale,” says Hiroshi Ueda, Executive Vice President of Sumitomo Chemical. “We’re encouraged by the progress of our ongoing first project with Ginkgo, and we believe it’s clear from how well our teams collaborate that we will also be able to find success within additional product areas as well. Through this project, we aim to build our own capability on fermentation production with, active involvement of our new organization SynBio Hub.”