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DEINOVE licenses Genplante Valor technology to improve isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways for DEINOCHEM program

18 December 2013

DEINOVE, a technology company that designs, develops and markets a new generation of industrial processes based on Deinococci bacteria, (earlier post) signed a license option agreement with Genoplante Valor via INRA Transfert, a research enhancement subsidiary of the French National Institute in Agronomic Research, that will cover the improvement of isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways.

Isoprenoids are one of the first compound families targeted by DEINOVE. Isoprenoids constitute a large, diverse class of organic chemicals with current product applications in a wide range of industries, including specialty chemicals and fuels. (Amyris uses the isoprenoid pathway in its microbes for its production.) Currently, isoprenoids are mainly extracted from plants or produced by chemical synthesis but suffer from low yields and high production costs.

DEINOVE has chosen to focus on three broad categories of isoprenoid compounds:

  • Linalool, geraniol, myrcene, limonene or lycopene, currently produced from turpentine (obtained from resinous sap or softwood pulp) or petroleum derivatives. These highly aromatic compounds are used in perfumes, cosmetics or household products, and also in pharmaceuticals, for example for the synthesis of certain vitamins.

  • Carotenoids are pigments that may appear yellow to red in color. They are present in a large number of plants and actively participate in the process of photosynthesis. They are used in food and animal feed for their antioxidant powers. They are also used as dyes in the food industry but also in ophthalmology, for example.

  • Isoprene is the simplest isoprenoid. It is mainly used for the production of tires (synthetic rubber), and a variety of coating materials as well as in adhesives.

DEINOVE will implement the Genoplante Valor technology in the DEINOCHEM program to strengthen the Deinococcus bacterium’s capacity to produce chemicals from bio-based raw materials. This intellectual property has been generated as part of an ANR (National Research Agency) Genomics research program labeled “Genoplante”. Patent details and conditions of acquisition of exploitation rights remain confidential.

We are thrilled to benefit from the license option that we will aim at validating on the Deinococcus. The work of the INRA Research Team, directed by Philippe Hugueney, should enable us to further our DEINOCHEM programme through the acceleration of our developments in the isoprenoid field.

DEINOCHEM is entering a decisive stage and we have just announced funding of almost €6 million [US$8.3 million] granted by the government within the framework of the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir. This agreement comes at a very timely moment to strengthen DEINOCHEM. Our ambition is to trigger the emergence of a powerful bio-based chemical industry.

— Emmanuel Petiot, DEINOVE CEO

The DEINOCHEM project aims to develop and to market high performance and economical bio-production processes originating from biomass and based on the exploitation of Deinococcus bacterium. These bacterial micro-factories are capable of producing compounds of interest from almost any type of non-food biomass such as wheat straw, corn stover and cobs, energy crops, and industrial and urban waste. The compounds produced with the DEINOVE process can be substituted for the current traditionally petro-sourced compounds.

DEINOVE’s objective is to offer high-performance ecological and economical bio-production processes based on the exploitation of Deinococci bacteria. The latter are naturally endowed with abilities which make them ideal for this type of development; natural expression of certain isoprenoids and resistance to their toxicity, demonstrated capacity to render these bacteria “hyperproducers” of a specific product of interest.

DEINOVE optimizes natural fermentation and metabolic capabilities of these bacterial “micro-factories” to produce high value added products from non-food biomass. The company’s primary markets are 2nd generation biofuels (DEINOL) and chemical intermediates (DEINOCHEM).

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