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Arcaea Acquires Biotech Start-Up Gadusol Laboratories

July 22, 2022
July 22, 2022
Marek Okon via Unsplash

Arcaea, the beauty company pioneering innovation through expressive biology, acquires Gadusol Laboratories.

WHO: Gadusol Laboratories, founded five years ago by Katie Pettinger, Dr. Taifo Mahmud, and Dr. Alan Bakalinsky, is an early-stage biotech start-up company based in Corvallis, Oregon. In the research and development phase, the company used proprietary Oregon State University synthetic biology technology to produce sunscreen compounds naturally found in marine life. These compounds are innovative sunscreen ingredients that are sustainably sourced, environmentally safe, beneficial for human skin and health, and can provide broad-spectrum protection.

Arcaea is a company launched on the Ginkgo Bioworks platform with the mission to build a new foundation for the beauty industry through expressive biology. Arcaea sees biology as a valuable creative tool for self-expression. The company will grow new ingredients and product experiences for beauty through technology, such as DNA sequencing, biological engineering, fermentation, and more. By culturing industry-leading, safe, and sustainable ingredients, Arcaea intends to create a new supply chain for the beauty industry that does not rely on petrochemicals or harvesting and depleting natural resources. By harnessing the power of biology, Arcaea is poised to produce highly sustainable products that deliver new functionality and performance across skincare, bodycare, haircare, and aesthetics. Arcaea was incubated on the Ginkgo Bioworks platform and formed under the name Kalo Ingredients LLC.

WHY: Gadusol is said to fit seamlessly into Arcaea's mission to use expressive biology to unlock the benefits of natural molecules. Certain species of marine and plant life naturally produce unique molecules to protect themselves from harmful UV radiation. Arcaea will leverage the power of biotechnology to produce these novel compounds economically and its expertise in formulation to bring these compounds to market. This acquisition is an opportunity to accelerate these novel compounds' timeline and commercial feasibility and catalyze the development of the next generation of UV technologies.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "Biology has created sophisticated mechanisms to protect ourselves from the environmental elements for millennia. Given the challenges facing consumers and companies on this front today, that is why this space has been critical from our inception. Arcaea's acquisition of Gadusol enables us to bring this technology to consumers faster and represents the start of new ways of managing protection from the sun and other environmental elements," said Arcaea CEO Jasmina Aganovic. "Gadusol is a strong example that shows when we embrace biology-first technologies, we can create no-compromise solutions to drive the future of industry foundational ingredients."

"We are thrilled to be joining the Arcaea team to accelerate the commercialization of our safe and effective bio ingredients. This partnership catalyzes development of a pipeline of molecules that can revolutionize sun care," said Katie Pettinger.


  • Arcaea acquired Gadusol Laboratories. The purchase price was not disclosed.
  • Gadusol CEO Katie Pettinger will join the team at Arcaea. 
  • Arcaea launched after a two-year incubation period within biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks with $78 million in Series A funding.

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