Press releases
2 February 2010,

Raising Efficiency within Biotechnological Steroid- Production

BRAIN AG, an European leader in white biotechnology and the global top 10 pharmaceutical corporation Bayer Schering Pharma AG co-operate in the field of production process optimisation of steroid compounds. The goal of the collaboration is the energy-efficient and thus sustainable fermentative production of steroid compounds using optimised microbial production strains taking plant derived raw materials as starting material.

Plants and their containing steroidal components represent an economic and sustainable source of pharmaceutical raw material and intermediates. Today, for further optimisation of the steroidal intermediates, besides chemical methods more and more microbial processes as whole cell biocatalyst reactors are being used. Within the strategic collaboration published today, existing production processes will be optimised using highly developed micro-organisms. With these so-called “designer bugs” it is the goal, to achieve a higher yield by a reduced energy input. This will lead to an increase of efficiency in the production process coupled to a reduction of the output of green house gases.

„On a long term as a company we can only be successful, when our economic action is in line with the social interests of man and the ecological needs of our period”, stated Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, responsible for innovation, technology and environment within the managing board of Bayer AG. „Here the optimisation of our production processes to better energy efficiencies is the focus of our research and development activities. Within the complete corporation through the optimisation of our processes we expect a reduction of the green house gas emissions of round about 10 percent“.

“The industrial use of biotechnologically optimised micro-organisms will help us to improve the processes for the conversion of steroidal intermediates and to save resources”, says Dr. Simone Kardinahl, head of microbiological production und development within the Bergkamen plant of Bayer Schering Pharma AG. „The collaboration with BRAIN supports and accelerates our own development activities within this segment”.

„Modern molecular biology technologies within the field of Systems Biology enable us to selectively take action on the genome of existing production strains. Here single, the overall product yield limiting genes will be substituted or modulated. It is the goal of the collaboration to enable and to use these “designer micro-organisms“ in the production process for more efficient conversions of steroidal intermediates“, says Dr. Jürgen Eck, CTO of BRAIN AG. “For BRAIN the expansion of the collaboration with the leading industrial partner Bayer Schering Pharma AG is a continuation of the strategic co-operation business with globally successful partners.“

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