Biosyntia and Lantana Bio in flavonoid discovery agreement
The pair have previously collaborated to develop bio-based ingredients from isoflavonoids, using Biosyntia’s “highly optimised fermentation platform”, however this is Biosyntia’s first foray into botanical ingredients.
Biosyntia CEO, Martin Plambech, comments: “This is a new and very promising market for us and our technologies.
“The global market for botanical extracts has a business-to-business-value of several billion euros and it continues to grow rapidly at 9% annually.”
Plambech has previously expressed a desire to continuously focus on new collaborations and partnerships with biotech companies to fast-track new product development.
The company recently secured a deal with Givaudan to develop ingredients for food and drinks, but this latest collaboration promises to facilitate production of ‘thousands of high-quality flavonoids not previously possible to produce’, he says.
Under the agreement, Biosyntia will concentrate on development and production of affordable active ingredients, leaving Lantana free to focus on generating new high-performance strains.
The first flavonoid in development is fermented kaempferol, which Biosyntia estimates has a potential market value of €5bn (£4.2bn) . It is found in certain fruit, vegetables, and herbs, and has a range of therapeutic qualities, including as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer.
Plambech comments: “We will target personal care and nutritional supplements markets, where consumers can use the products within health areas such as anti-ageing, vascular health, neuroprotection, cognition and others.”
Production will take place in Europe to ‘eliminate supply challenges’, with an expected launch sometime in the “next couple of years”.
The fermented variant will represent the first commercially available ingredient of its kind, although the resulting anti-viral supplement with initially only be available in the US and other “selected” regions. Subsequent global expansion will be subject to regulatory approvals.
The two companies will initially rely on existing technology but will also develop proprietary manufacturing processes to optimise production of new strains from “most” flavonoid variants.
Plambech explains that the vast majority of flavonoids are not currently available for the consumer market, and those that are, are typically of low quality and expensive.
“The primary reason being the concentration in plants are so low that it is difficult and costly to produce them by extraction. Our production technology will enable access at price points for us in most consumer applications,” he says.
Biosyntia’s “technology platform” (Biosynthetic Selections) utilises a microbial fermentation process to develop vitamins, and other active ingredients, to substantially lower its environmental footprint.
It enables millions of engineered micro-organisms to be screened every week for production efficiency and represents considerable cost-savings per microbe.
The fermentation technique is easily scaled, economical and sustainable, and relies entirely on natural and renewable raw materials.
“It uses sugar (and eventually biological waste) as raw material which requires (no pesticides and fertiliser), significantly less arable land the current extraction technologies,” says Plambech.
“A further benefit of the fermentation process is the reduced need for solvents and less waste generated.”