CHAIN Celebrates Feasibility Study Success at Collaboration Nation

October 19, 2015

CHAIN Biotech has successfully completed a feasibility study into altering bacterial metabolism to produce novel chemicals. The four-month project was funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and performed at Imperial College, London.

In nature, some chemicals exist in two forms which are mirror images of each other, like our left and right hands – the S and R forms. Chemical synthesis often results in a racemic mixture which contains both forms. However, one form may have a detrimental effect while the other has a positive one. In its project, CHAIN has succeeded in producing and analysing a right-handed R-form of a chemical from a bacterial host.

Presenting key findings at the Innovate UK Collaboration Nation event in London last Wednesday, CHAIN’s Business Development Manager, Mr Ben Bradley, said “During this project we validated our ‘chiral switch’ technology which allows us to change the stereochemistry of key intracellular metabolites.  We can now produce chemicals in the R-form, rather than the native S-form, that is required for certain nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.’’

Mr Bradley explained that this project forms a key component of CHAIN’s Anaerobic Fermentation Technology Platform. The demonstration of chiral-switch technology and novel analysis is leading the company to seek new partnerships in the fields of modelling, protein engineering and downstream processing to help build on the project’s success.

CHAIN would like to thank Innovate UK for supporting this work and also our hosts at Imperial College, SynbiCITE.