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GeneChem builds a commercial-scale factory to meet demand for sialyllactose
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GeneChem builds a commercial-scale factory to meet demand for sialyllactose

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Sialyllactose is a Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) consisting of sialic acid and lactose, with two types (3’-SL and 6’-SL) distinguished by the binding site of the sialic acid on the lactose molecule.

HMOs are an important component of human milk, with a growing number of known functions and health benefits. For this reason, they have been included in premium infant formulas since 2016, with wider research into an increasing number of applications such as dietary supplementation.

According to industry research, the HMO market is expected to grow sharply with a CAGR of over 20% by 2027 due to increased awareness of the related functions and health benefits.

Glycosylation and sialylation

Glycosylation is a cutting-edge biotechnology in which various types of sugar molecules are added to bioactive compounds through enzymatic reaction. Research has shown that glycosylation upgrades the function and characteristics of common bioactive compounds.

Known effects of glycosylation include increasing the stability of bioactive compounds to maximize the half-life in the human body, improving solubility without affecting the substance’s efficacy, decreasing antibiotic resistance and improving efficacy of a bioactive compound.

Among glycosylation technologies, the technique of attaching sialic acid to bioactive compounds is called sialylation.

Sialic acid is a sugar that distinguishes humans from other organisms due to the high amount and complexity at which it is included in glycoprotein synthesis. It is a key structural component of ganglioside, which plays an important role in brain development and memory. Sialic acid, heavily involved in immune activities, is also known to be one of the most important sugars in the human body.

According to industry experts, research into applications for sialyllactose has been in progress for decades, with a wide scope from infant formula to medical purposes. However, supply is not yet available at a commercial scale. As of December, 2021, it has only been introduced into the infant formulas of two companies in their premium products available in the Vietnam and Hong Kong market. 

Experts indicated that the launch of sialyllactose in a commercially available product was accelerated by competitive marketing initiative in the infant formula industry. To achieve growth in the global market, it will be necessary to first achieve a steady supply of sialyllactose on a large scale. 

Reactor 5 FilmEffect

In a move to keep up with this anticipative demand, GeneChem Inc., a subsidiary of Soulbrain Holdings Co., Ltd., started construction of its industrial scale Sialyllactose factory on 11 Jan. 2022 in Sejong City, South Korea.

The factory is designed to produce 3’-Sialyllactose(3’-SL) and 6’-Sialyllactose(6’-SL) with state-of-the-art technology, the One-Pot Enzyme Reaction System patented and owned by GeneChem.

The factory is scheduled to begin operation in the autumn of 2022.

GeneChem is a leading player in the glycosylation industry, particularly specializing in sialylation. Its One-Pot Enzyme Reaction System and sialyllactose production process was developed in 2007, with patents for the technology registered in the US, the EU, Japan, China and Korea. It has been providing sialyllactose for research purposes to top infant formula manufacturers and scientists around the world since 2011, after achievement of a pilot-scale production process in 2010.

GeneChem achieved US FDA GRAS approval for 3’-Sialyllactose in Sep. 2018. According to the company, they are planning to introduce additional applications to the market after completion of their factory.

GeneChem authorities stated, “We’re pleased to announce the news of our commercial scale factory to the market. It will enable us to deliver more health benefits to more customers with higher quality products and under better terms. We will continue to lead the industry, and we will strive to make the world a healthier and happier place through our sialyllactose.”  

More details about Sialyllactose are available upon request to the contact point listed below.

Related keywords: Sialyllactose, GeneChem, 3’-Sialyllactose, 6’-Sialyllactose, Soulbrain, Glycosylation, Sialylation, Sialic Acid, HMO

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