DEINOVE, an industrial biotech company developing innovative processes for producing biofuels and bio-based compounds from Deinococcus bacteria (earlier post), reached the first milestone of its DEINOCHEM green chemistry program, funded by the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) in the framework of the French government initiative “Investing for the Future”. Consequently, DEINOVE will receive, in early February 2015, approximately €1 million (US$1.16 million) in the form of a repayable advance.
The DEINOCHEM program aims to develop new industrial processes to produce intermediates or specialty chemicals from renewable resources by improving the performance of Deinococcus bacteria. The goal is to offer alternatives to products usually derived from petroleum or extracted from plants with low yields, for perfumeries, cosmetics, food and feed. The first molecules produced are aromatic ingredients, antioxidants and/or high-added value pigments, representing a market of hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.
Achieving this milestone validates the progress made in the genetic engineering of strains. The modified strains construction flow has multiplied by 10 in less than a year, thus accelerating the production and testing of strains of interest. Also, DEINOVE teams have made progress in identifying limiting enzymes to optimize the production of targeted isoprenoids. The license acquired from the INRA and Genoplante Valor for the key enzyme DXS has contributed to these results.
DEINOVE optimizes the natural fermentation and metabolic capabilities of Deinococci “micro-factories” to produce high value-added products from non-food biomass. The company’s primary markets are 2nd-generation biofuels (DEINOL) and bio-based chemicals (DEINOCHEM).
DEINOL uses Deinococcus bacteria to break down the complex sugars contained in pre-treated lignocellulosic biomass and then to convert them into ethanol in a single operation, replacing the microorganisms that are traditionally used and a large part of the enzyme treatment that precedes fermentation.