The Bioactive compounds developped by DEINOVE take their originality in sourcing compounds naturally produced by rare bacterial strains that have been collected in extreme or challenging environments around the surface of the globe. With a growing collection of over 6’000 bacterial strains, a solid scientific know-how and a state-of-the-art technology platform, DEINOVE has the resources required to uncover a number of compounds of natural origin with prospective applications in healthcare, nutrition and cosmetics.
An integrated platform of expertise to bring new natural compounds to light
Starting from earth samples collected in different environments and using a selection method based on UV radiation, DEINOVE has isolated a number of specific extremophile strains. In collaboration with expert environmental microbiologists and with a proven expertise in handling rare microorganisms, the optimum growth conditions are determined to expand and isolate these bacteria.
To unlock the power of these strains, several extracts can be prepared for each strain under different extraction conditions to better capture the panel of compounds produced by the microorganism. For cosmetic applications, these extracts then enter the DEINOSCREEN program, which consists of assessing in vitro the bacterial extracts, including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, among others. Once an activity has been detected, high-technology analytical methods can be used to identify the compound responsible. If there is the will to increase the production levels, bioinformatics can be used to identify the genetic and metabolic pathways that are involved in its biosynthesis.
From discovery to pre-industrial production
Metabolic pathways are often complex and involve many different steps and enzymes to produce a given compound. Optimizing its production therefore requires modifying the expression levels of several genes simultaneously. Thousands of strains often need to be constructed before landing the one strain with the optimal production levels. DEINOVE has worked in collaboration with CAD4Bio to develop a custom-made computer-aided design software with integrated machine-learning that designs genetic constructs in silico, and operates a robot to perform large-scale DNA cloning and high-throughput strain construction. Today, DEINOVE is able to produce 1’000 different genetic variants in a month.
Upon genetic optimization, the appropriate fermentation conditions are also determined for production of the compound. DEINOVE’s Bioactives platform has developed the capacity to optimize fermentation conditions at a pace that is rare within the R&D industry. It includes a total of 28 fermenters, all of which can be operated in batch, fed-batch or continuous modes. The tanks are equipped with probes to fully and continuously monitor every fermentation run (temperature, pO2, pH, redox potential, glucose,…), allowing downstream standardization of the process. The possibility to scale the fermentation up to 20-liter tanks ensures easy transfer to industrial-scale production.
Finally, DEINOVE’s Bioactives platform includes optimization of a compound’s extraction protocol and downstream processing. The protocols are developed in agreement with the guidelines established by the target industry and are optimized for large pre-industrial fermentation volumes of up to 20 liters, offering the possibility to produce pre-series of a compound.