Universiteit Leiden

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BRAIN appoints University of Leiden as partner for BEC-Enabled production strain development

BRAIN Biotech and the Leiden University will jointly develop an Aspergillus based production strain with high yield and thus contribute to a bio-based circular economy. The cooperation is based on BRAIN´s molecular tool BEC.

BRAIN Biotech AG in Germany has chosen the University of Leiden, Netherlands, as a partner for the development of a high efficiency microbial production strain. Microbial production strains play an important role in industrial biotechnology to produce proteins and enzymes in mass quantities. As such, microbial production enables the environmentally friendly use of enzymes for industrial processes. 

Within this joint development project, BRAINs proprietary genome editing technology, BRAIN Engineered Cas (BEC), will be employed to optimize various production strains. The University of Leiden will focus on applying this technology to further improve particularly the aspergillus based production technology. The University of Leiden is internationally renowned for its expertise in biotechnology and, especially, the development of aspergillus based biological production technologies.

Commercial opportunities

Adriaan Moelker, CEO at BRAIN Biotech AG says: “We are pleased to appoint a very experienced partner with the University of Leiden for the development of an aspergillus based high yielding production strain. The development of high yielding production hosts is a strategic target for BRAIN and offers excellent commercial opportunities to increase our own production yields in the BioIndustrial segment as well as license the technology to third parties. By utilizing our own BEC system for  genome editing we are about to enjoy full freedom to operate and can demonstrate its editing properties for commercial use.”

Research opportunities

Arthur Ram, Priniciple Investigator at the Institute Biology Leiden (IBL) of Leiden University says: “It is a great pleasure and opportunity to further develop and study the new BEC genome editing tool for Aspergillus in collaboration with BRAIN. This project fits well with our mission to develop molecular genetic tools for fungal biotechnology to contribute to a bio-based circular economy. The development and optimization of these molecular tools not only allows efficient ways for industrial strain improvement, the tools will also speed up and accelerate our research to understand fundamental processes in fungi related to the enormous secretion capacity of filamentous fungi”.

On May 6, 2021, BRAIN had announced the development of the BRAIN Engineered Cas (BEC) protein as a novel genome editing nuclease with validated genome editing activity in various microorganisms. The technology is already employed in BRAIN’S tailor made solution segment within customer projects and for the development of BRAIN’s own incubator projects. 

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