Specialty enzyme manufacturer, Biocatalysts Ltd., have introduced a new innovative production method to maximize the efficiency of intracellular enzyme manufacturing. This advance in biotech technology will provide Biocatalysts with the tools to expand their current technical capabilities, and allow them to offer a greater novel enzyme development service which will produce commercially viable intracellular enzymes. The new production plant enables intracellular enzymes to be produced in high yields and very cost effectively.
Currently the majority of enzymes that are available on the market are genetically modified secreted enzymes. This type of enzyme is generally quite easy to produce due to the fact that the enzymes are stable outside the microorganism. The process usually involves a very large fermenter which in turn produces large quantities of enzymes. The separation of the enzyme is a simple process, using a centrifuge and ultrafiltration techniques, often followed by spray drying. These secreted type enzymes are primarily classed as commodities due to their large production quantities and low cost.
The new enzyme production plant at Biocatalysts will be quite different as the focus here is on manufacturing specialty intracellular enzymes. These are more difficult to produce due to the fact that after the fermentation the cells go through a cell breaker to release the enzyme. The quantity of microorganisms in the fermenter needs to be large so that a good yield of enzyme is produced, but once the cells have been broken a viscous slurry is produced which is very difficult to process. For small scale production in a laboratory this is possible using a high speed centrifuge, but when looking to scale up to commercial quantities this is practically impossible.
Biocatalysts tackled this problem head on by researching and designing a new and unique 4 step efficient filtration system which will easily separate the wanted enzymes out of the broken up microorganisms (sludge) at a fast pace so that no activity is lost. At the very end the solution is bacto-filtered which ensures no H&S regulations are contravened by shipping products with live and viable GMOs in them. Overcoming this filtration barrier was a breakthrough for Biocatalysts and has allowed them to progress with the production of their innovative production plant. The new facility can produce 10s of kgs of freeze dried enzyme per week and this can be further scaled up to produce 100kg batches of very high activity enzyme.
Stuart West, Managing Director at Biocatalysts commented: "The production system is fairly unique and state of the art, particularly for the manufacture of high value intracellular. This in combination with our newly acquired enzyme development capabilities gives Biocatalysts a unique position in the world as we are able to develop and manufacture custom designed enzymes. In the past customers would go to a contract research company for enzyme development and then look for a contract manufacturing company to make the enzyme. Having all this under one roof enables us to develop novel enzymes very rapidly and cost effectively."
In the current economic climate companies need to have a competitive edge, by using the same enzymes as their competitors this will never happen. Biocatalysts provide custom designed, unique enzymes, produced quickly and cheaply without any licensing, regulatory or shipping problems. With the addition of their new enzyme production plant, Biocatalysts are currently the main enzyme manufacturer offering the production of intracellular enzymes on a commercial scale spanning various industries. By ensuring the process is as streamlined as possible and by using technologies such as synthetic biology to push up yields, the possibilities are endless, which puts Biocatalysts in a position to exceed customer's enzyme expectations.