Press releases
28 February 2011, Zwingenberg, Frankfurt

BRAIN and DECHEMA cooperate in the biotechnological production of perillic acid

The biotechnology company BRAIN AG and the DECHEMA Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in Frankfurt have announced a collaboration in the biotechnological production of perillic acid. This patented natural monoterpene is owned by BRAIN and will be used in a wide range of applications as a bioactive compound in cosmetic products.

The cooperation is aimed at advancing further development of an integrated bio-process for efficient microbial (+)-perillic acid synthesis from the cheap precursor (+) limonene, developed by PD Dr. Jens Schrader and his team at DECHEMA. The compound (+) limonene is extracted in large quantities from orange peel.

By combining the competencies in strain and process optimisation as well as Scale-Up at the Karl-Winnacker-Institute of the DECHEMA, with the microbiological and molecular biological methods of BRAIN, this project is aimed at developing an integrated bio-process for effective technical production.

The research project is partially sponsored within the BRAIN research program “MikroPro” by the the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Using shared expertise

“BRAIN and DECHEMA have pooled their know-how in the biotechnological production of the natural compound perillic acid. Superior space-time utilization and cost-efficient purification procedures are essential for successful application of biotechnological production processes“, says PD Dr. Jens Schrader, head of Biochemical Engineering at the Karl- Winnacker-Institute of the DECHEMA. “By implementing tailor-made process controls for monoterpenes involving in situ product removal as well as state-of-the-art strain optimization methods, we are able to develop an economically viable bio-catalytic system. We are delighted to support BRAIN in this exciting field of white biotechnology.” Enhancing the BRAIN patent platform “The acquired patent portfolio for the new, bioactive cosmetics compound perillic acid is an important addition to our patent platform of biologically active compounds designed for efficient cosmetics optimization”, explains Dr. Jürgen Eck, CTO of BRAIN AG. “Our numerous contacts with our industrial cooperation partners have revealed an increasing demand for bioactive substances from natural sources for innovative cosmetic products. In the short-term, the acquired patents and the collaboration with the development team headed by Dr. Jens Schrader will provide a natural solution to this issue by supplying the market with relevant active substances.“

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