Avantium Builds 10-Ton Demonstration Plant to Produce Bioplastics

Labiotech.eu | November 07, 2019

The Dutch bioplastics company Avantium has opened a demonstration plant capable of producing 10 tons per year of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), a compound used to make plastics, using plants as the starting material. Construction of Avantium’s plant began at Chemie Park Delfzijl, the Netherlands, last year. The plant will extract carbohydrates from agricultural waste and crops such as sugar beet, and then use a chemical process called hydrogenolysis to turn them into MEG, an essential ingredient in textiles and plastic bottles. This plant will model the manufacturing process and allow early troubleshooting. Avantium aims to have a fully commercial plant up and running by 2024. At present, 99% of MEG comes from the petrochemical industry, which generates high greenhouse gas emissions. Avantium aims to reduce society’s reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels by instead producing the material from crops and unwanted plant waste. The company estimates that its technology could reduce carbon emissions by 70% compared with traditional sources of MEG.

Spotlight

Josh Smith, an IBM research scientist and silicon fabrication expert at IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Center, introduces viewers to the day-to-day activities in the fabrication and testing of nanoDLD pillar arrays for size-fractionation experiments involving exosomes and other particles.

Spotlight

Josh Smith, an IBM research scientist and silicon fabrication expert at IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Center, introduces viewers to the day-to-day activities in the fabrication and testing of nanoDLD pillar arrays for size-fractionation experiments involving exosomes and other particles.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Phytolon and Ginkgo Bioworks Collaborate to Take Biological Production of Vibrant Food Colors to the Next Level

Phytolon; Ginkgo Bioworks | February 28, 2022

Phytolon, a growing startup company making natural food colorants, announced a partnership today with Ginkgo Bioworks the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, to produce vibrant cultured food colors via fermentation of yeast. Under this partnership, Phytolon is leveraging Ginkgo's ability to engineer biology at scale to work together on the production of vibrant betalain pigments, the healthy and colorful compounds found in foods like beets and cactus fruit. The project aims to take Phytolon's colors across the full 'yellow-to-purple' spectrum to the next level, and to potentially maximize the business opportunity of Phytolon's vibrant colors for applications in the food and cosmetics industries. Scientists have developed hundreds of artificial food dyes by using the tools of synthetic chemistry to convert petrochemical sources into a wide range of colors. Biotechnology offers an opportunity to tap into the vibrant colors of biology to produce more sustainable, yet equally vibrant, colors. While artificial dyes are visually appealing and cheap to manufacture, many have been banned in food and feed due to health concerns. As consumers increasingly seek out more sustainable and nature-derived products, the food industry is working to find food colors that have equivalent pigment vibrancy to those found in synthetic chemical dyes but which come from biological rather than petrochemical sources. Phytolon has developed a proprietary process for producing betalain pigments through precision fermentation of certain yeast strains. Together, Phytolon and Ginkgo are partnering with the goal of maximizing the production efficiency of purple and yellow betalain-producing strains. "We're excited to work with Ginkgo to develop natural food colors that can potentially outperform conventional artificial dyes in cost and performance. We believe biotechnology makes it possible to produce a wider range of colors than ever before that may outperform current benchmark colorants, and we look forward to building products that may meet and even exceed consumer expectations for healthier, sustainable foods, all while aiming to maintain industry requirements for high quality and cost-efficiency." Dr. Tal Zeltzer, Co-founder and CTO of Phytolon "We love enabling growing startups like Phytolon through our platform, using biotechnology to challenge industry norms and attempt to build a fundamentally better product than what's on the market today," said Jennifer Wipf, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo Bioworks. "The planet needs new sustainable solutions, and we are excited to partner with Phytolon to support a more sustainable food system." About Phytolon Phytolon is a biotechnology startup company that is taking food coloring to the next level by leveraging a novel technology for production of natural pigments via precision fermentation of yeast. Phytolon's products have been successfully validated by global leaders in the food industry, and Phyloton expects to enter into commercialization agreements with initial strategic partners in the near term. Phytolon is supported by partners such as The Trendlines Group Millennium Foodtech, EIT-Food, Consensus Business Group, Arkin Holdings and others. About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery.

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MEDTECH

Novozymes and Saipem enter collaboration agreement to create a more sustainable CO2 capture

Novozymes | December 13, 2021

Novozymes, the world leader in biological solutions, and Saipem, an advanced technological and engineering platform for safe and sustainable complex infrastructure and plants, have signed a collaboration agreement for the development of innovative solutions for enzymatic carbon capture. As part of the agreement, Saipem - which owns an enzyme-based CO2 capture technology - will be responsible for providing process, mechanical and equipment design, while Novozymes will provide enzymes while further optimizing the process through enzymes innovation. Enzymatic carbon capture is more sustainable in environmental terms and more cost-effective compared to traditional CO2 capture processes. In fact, it is based on the use of enzymes that require the input of heat at lower temperatures and a significantly moderate use of chemicals, energy and, consequently, cuts down the production of harmful waste. Furthermore, this process is more reliable, as the carbonates and enzymes, being low corrosion materials, minimize the deterioration of equipment. Saipem and Novozymes are mutually satisfied with the signed agreement which constitutes an important step towards realizing innovative solutions for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, thanks to Saipem's expertise in CO2 capture and storage technologies and Novozymes' cutting-edge enzymes solutions, the two companies can make the enzymatic carbon capture process highly competitive on the market of traditional amine processes. “This collaboration is an important step towards more sustainable solutions for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Enzymatic carbon capture has the potential to replace resource-heavy processes with energy-efficient, biological processes, providing both environmental and financial benefits while accelerating the battle against climate change,” Amy Byrick, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Transformation at Novozymes About Novozymes Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with customers, partners, and the global community, we improve industrial performance while preserving the planet's resources and helping build better lives. As the world's largest provider of enzyme and microbial technologies, our bioinnovation enables higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production, renewable fuel, and many other benefits that we rely on today and in the future.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Bicycle Therapeutics Announces Expansion of Genentech Immuno-Oncology Collaboration

Bicycle Therapeutics | October 26, 2021

Bicycle Therapeutics plc a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) technology, today announced that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has exercised an option to initiate a new program, expanding the exclusive strategic collaboration agreement with Bicycle to discover, develop and commercialize novel Bicycle®-based immuno-oncology therapies. Bicycle and Genentech are collaborating on the discovery and pre-clinical development of novel Bicycle-based immunotherapies against multiple targets. Pursuant to the terms of the February 2020 agreement, Genentech has exercised an option to include a new program under the agreement, triggering a $10 million payment to Bicycle. None of the compounds in Bicycle’s wholly owned oncology pipeline, including its immuno-oncology candidates, are included in the collaboration. “We are pleased both with the progress achieved so far in our ongoing work with Genentech and that Genentech has elected to exercise an option to add a new program under the collaboration. We believe the expansion of our collaboration underscores the potential utility of Bicycles compared to other modalities, as well as the potential broad applicability of Bicycles in a wide-range of targets “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the preeminent immuno-oncology team at Genentech to develop potential new cancer treatments based on Bicycles.” Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics About Bicycle Therapeutics Bicycle Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BCYC) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines, referred to as Bicycles, for diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics. Bicycles are fully synthetic short peptides constrained with small molecule scaffolds to form two loops that stabilize their structural geometry. This constraint facilitates target binding with high affinity and selectivity, making Bicycles attractive candidates for drug development. Bicycle is evaluating BT5528, a second-generation Bicycle Toxin Conjugate (BTC™) targeting EphA2, and BT8009, a second-generation BTC™ targeting Nectin-4, a well-validated tumor antigen, in company-sponsored Phase I/II trials. In addition, BT1718, a BTC™ that targets MT1-MMP, is being investigated in an ongoing Phase I/IIa clinical trial sponsored by the Centre for Drug Development of Cancer Research UK. Bicycle is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in Lexington, MA. For more information, visit bicycletherapeutics.com. Forward Looking Statements This press release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as “aims,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “goal,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “possible,” “potential,” “seeks,” “will” and variations of these words or similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Bicycle’s collaboration with Genentech; the discovery, development and potential commercialization of potential product candidates using Bicycle’s technology and under the collaboration agreement; the therapeutic potential for Bicycles in immuno-oncology and other applications; and the potential to receive milestone payments and royalties under the strategic collaboration agreement. Bicycle may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including: the risk that Bicycle may not realize the intended benefits of its technology or of the collaboration agreement with Genentech, including that Bicycle and Genentech may not successfully identify, develop and commercialize additional product candidates; the risk that Bicycle may not be able to maintain its collaboration with Genentech and realize the benefits thereof; and other important factors, any of which could cause Bicycle’s actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, are described in greater detail in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Bicycle’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 5, 2021, as well as in other filings Bicycle may make with the SEC in the future. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Bicycle expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether because of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

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