DEINOVE takes carotenoid production forward and collaborates with Canada's POS Bio-Sciences

Company aims to accelerate the commercial deployment of its high-value carotenoid platform

DEINOVE, a biotech company developing innovative processes for producing biofuels and biobased chemicals by using Deinococcus bacteria as host strains, announces that it has struck a strategic partnership with the Canadian company POS Bio-Sciences for the development of its carotenoid production process, including the extraction and purification of these high added-value compounds.

As part of its DEINOCHEM biobased chemicals project, DEINOVE has worked for several years to leverage the natural propensity of Deinococcus to produce carotenoids. The work on the characterisation of its 6000-strain bank resulted in a palette of various carotenoids, some even totally unique, such as Deinoxanthin, that can be enhanced by DEINOVE's biotechnological tools. The objective of the company is now to exploit this opportunity commercially.

DEINOVE has decided to join forces with POS Bio-Sciences to make progress in structuring its carotenoids portfolio. POS Bio-Sciences is a recognised leader in the extraction of high-value compounds, including carotenoids, based on proven processes.

The global market for carotenoids is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2019, with an average annual growth rate estimated at 3.5%. In 2013, Europe was the largest market.

The applications for these molecules continue to diversify in food and feed, and in cosmetics and health. The supply of biobased solutions remains limited by high production costs as carotenoids are present in some plants, but in small quantities.

'Extracting the compounds, present at very low levels, regardless of the cost of the material, is a major technical and economic limitation,' says Nagib Ward, DEINOVE's VP Business Development. 'Our bacteria multiply quickly and produce carotenoids naturally from any feedstock and, through our advances in genetic engineering, we can achieve significant levels, giving us a real competitive advantage. Not to mention the possibility of creating a hybrid offering: collecting carotenoids generated as a co-product of another DEINOVE's bioproduction process, which improves the economic equation significantly.'

Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of DEINOVE added: 'We remain focused on our core strengths: metabolic engineering and fermentation production of biobased chemicals from our strains. We chose to collaborate with POS Bio-Sciences to improve our value proposition and reach the market faster. By combining our expertise with POS' experience in the production of purified compounds on an industrial scale, we aim to develop a commercial range able to interest many partners. This project is a strategic development for DEINOVE.'