French biotech firm has feed ambitions for carotenoid platform

© istock.com

Deinove says it is finally edging towards commercial revenue generation and industrial scale manufacture of natural carotenoids for use in feed, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The Montpellier-based producer uses Deinococcus bacteria as host strains.

“At some stage you have to stop being the most promising biotech company and start to deliver. We aim to produce the first batches of commercial carotenoid compounds within two and half years. What we are going to now is demonstrate that we have what it takes to do just that,” CEO Emmanuel Petiot told us.

The company, which was established in 2006 and is listed on NYSE Alternext since 2010, released its financial results last week, showing a 0.2% reduction in net loss from €6.5m in 2014 to €6.4m in 2015.

It is targeting the huge demand for natural coloring options, particularly in the US market.

But the supply of bio-based carotenoids remains limited by high production costs. Deinove said its challenge is to reduce those to meet the high demand. It said it also wants to ensure supply stability, consistent quality and conservation of natural resources while doing so.

The company has obtained proof of concept for five different carotenoid molecules and said its technology has increased yields by a factor of 6 to 8.

“Initially we will be targeting the poultry – skin and yolk pigmentation - and aquaculture sectors,” said Petiot.

The global carotenoid market was worth $1.5bn in 2014. This market is expected to reach nearly $1.8bn in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9%, according to BCC Research.

The largest share of the current production comes from the chemical synthesis of petroleum derivatives.

Industrial production of natural carotenoids can be carried out through biotechnological processes using filamentous fungi, yeasts, bacteria or microalgae or solid-liquid extraction from plants.

Gene library

One of the core strengths of Deinove, said Petiot, is that it has a large platform to work from - its library contains 6,000 irrigation derived bacteria strains.

The producer is exploiting the genetic and metabolic potential of Deinococcus, a bacterium said to have unusual robustness and singular genetic properties that can be modified to produce compounds from non-food biomass components that other organisms cannot exploit.

“A lot of biotechnology companies only have half a dozen or no more than 10 strains to work from and they are typically derived from Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have significant gene diversity to leverage,” said Petiot.

And he said Deinococcus bacteria naturally produce carotenoids.

Testing

Deinove is currently focusing on addressing regulatory procedure in the US, the EU and Asia, a prerequisite for scaling up production.

The first toxicity tests have demonstrated the general non-pathogenicity of Deinococcus strains, said the CEO.

More specific efficacy tests requiring a more significant production capacity are needed to gain regulatory approvals. “We have to multiply the trials,” said the CEO.

But functional testing costs. “Thanks to our investors, we have the cash required for the next two years,” said the CEO, referencing the €2.2m in public funding it received from ADEME and Bpifrance in 2015, added to the €1.7m it generated last year under the French R&D tax credit, CIR, and the €4.6m it raised through the line of equity financing it signed with Kepler Cheuvreux in December 2014.

It also bulked up its infrastructure last year, adding 20 new fermenters to speed up research.

But the wider animal nutrition sector is also the firm’s radar. Along with its ongoing deal with French agribusiness group, Avril, aimed at testing the nutritional effects of the compounds produced by the Deinococcus strains for animals, Deinove entered a partnership with US based Flint Hills Resources (FHR) a few months ago to expand its potential in the feed sector.

“It is a 17 month project. We will screen our library of 6,000 strains to identify and optimize bacteria that are able to grow in good conditions based on raw materials supplied by FHR,” said Petiot.

 

Related News

© iStock.com/shironosov

US soy growers call on EU Commission to approve biotech feed crops

© iStock.com/Thisisdavid88

Feed groups ask US regulators to go slow with biotech review

© istock.com/NicoElNino

What do German efficiency and lysine producing bacteria have in common?

© istock.com/BsWei

France’s Avril Group looks to Brazil for feed additives growth

© iStock

Feed industry: US biotech policy review needs to focus on international trade

© iStock/jcwait

US Senators: We need faster GM approval process by China

© istock

Avril specialty additives and biosecurity business secures millions from investors

© iStock/stegutiez

Despite legislative pressure, US GM feed trade 'still strong' with Dominican Republic

© istock/pepsikan

French company's bio-based carotenoids pass test with flying colors

© istock/ipopba

Deinove protects its bacteria derived feed innovation in China

© istock/jauhari1

Liquid feed player consolidates its position in France

Irish biotechnology firm developing bioactive peptides for feed

Irish biotechnology firm developing bioactive peptides for feed

'We reckon it will become the gold standard in fishmeal replacement,' says Calysta CEO Alan Shaw © istock.com/MacXever

Calysta says gas to fishmeal replacement protein on path to commercialization

Gas to protein maker UniBio aims to raise $23.5m in IPO

Gas to protein maker UniBio aims to raise $23.5m in IPO

Agrivida raises funds to support roll out of new feed enzymes

Agrivida raises funds to support roll out of new feed enzymes

Copyright Deinove. Project aims to select bacteria strains that produce compounds such as natural carotenoids and enzymes

French agribusiness and biotech tie-up looks to develop bacteria derived feed additives

The addition of xylanase to wheat base diets decreased digesta viscosity and fermentation, increased nutrient digestion and digesta passage, and reduced the amount of nutrients available to the microflora: study [pic: (c) istock.com Sage78]

Producer makes the case for enzymes in shift away from AGPs

Carotenoid-rich transgenic corn could boost chicken immunity

Carotenoid-rich transgenic corn could boost chicken immunity

Are GM plant oils the answer to fish oil DHA and EPA replacement in aqua feed?

Are GM plant oils the answer to fish oil DHA and EPA replacement in aqua feed?

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.