Genomatica: Biotechnology platform allows accelerated development

By Genomatica | September 11, 2014

Genomatica announced the latest results from the use of its proprietary, integrated biotechnology platform. The company uses its platform to develop processes that harness biotechnology as an integral part of converting alternative feedstocks to major chemicals. Genomatica leveraged its platform to create microorganisms that achieved a 'titer' (concentration of product) of over 50 grams per liter for one of their programs in less than half the time required by an earlier program. This level is a relevant milestone on the path toward a commercial process and highlights one of the major aspects of the platform - its ability to rapidly engineer microorganisms to produce chemicals that may not be naturally produced by a chosen microbe.

Genomatica's first commercial process, GENO BDO, was developed using their platform and was notable for three reasons: the company reached commercial-scale production in only five years; the process directly converts feedstocks to a chemical that is not naturally produced; and the thousands of tons of BDO produced to date continues to lead the industry in production of a high-volume intermediate chemical from renewable feedstocks. The BDO program required 27 months to reach over 50 grams per liter. The latest example was achieved as part of Genomatica's butadiene development program. In this program, too, Genomatica is using its platform to design a microorganism and process to make a chemical that is not naturally produced; and in this case, only 10 months were needed to reach the 50 grams per liter.

Genomatica believes this improved performance represents the high leverage that can be achieved from their integrated biotechnology platform.

"Our biotechnology platform enabled us to deliver a commercial process for BDO in only five years, even though we were still establishing some of the key elements back then," said Mark Burk, executive vce president and chief technology officer of Genomatica. "Now, we have more thoroughly integrated our computational and experimental capabilities, especially with regard to certain high-throughput and precision experimentation technologies. This puts us in a position to take full advantage of our platform for butadiene and nylon intermediates and beyond. Pragmatically, a good technology platform should drive down cost and timelines to commercialization. We intend to put our proven asset to good use as we work with industry partners to develop and commercialize processes for additional chemicals."