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BRAIN and WeissBioTech announce joint research collaboration

Biotechnology company BRAIN AG and enzyme specialist WeissBioTech GmbH initiated a joint research and development collaboration for the bioproduction of technical enzymes for the dairy industry. Within the collaboration the application knowhow in the growing field of enzymatic production processes in the dairy industry of WeissBioTech together with its marketing and sales intelligence will be combined with BRAIN’s expertise in enzyme discovery, its expression technologies and enzyme development know-how.

In November 2014 the two companies announced a strategic investment of BRAIN in WeissBioTech. During the current collaboration new enzymes for the production of dairy products will be developed based on BRAIN’s extensive range of novel enzymes and metagenome libraries, summarized in the BRAIN BioArchive®, and the associated technologies required for identification, development and production of enzyme products. WeissBioTech’s application knowhow and market knowledge will be the essential guide for enzyme discovery, development and sales of the new products from this collaboration.

The dairy industry is in a growth phase worldwide since the Asian customers have discovered milk and dairy products as a valuable new part of their daily diet. Traditionally, enzymatic milk processing is already widely used in the Western World, especially in cheese production. In recent years the demand for enzymatically produced lactose free milk products is increasing worldwide, with an emphasis on the South American and Asian markets due to the inherited lactose intolerance in these populations.

“WeissBioTech has already an interesting portfolio of 50 diversified enzyme products for a variety of industry segments e.g. for fruit juice production, the starch processing industry and the production of fuel and potable alcohol. This portfolio serves as good basis for introducing new or improved products for our customers in the dairy industry. The collaboration with the leading biotech company BRAIN gives us the opportunity to expand our product portfolio by exploiting the BioArchive® of BRAIN” explains Johannes de Bie, CEO of WeissBioTech. “Furthermore, we expect that we will improve our production capabilities by applying BRAIN’s strain improvement, fermentation expertise and research infrastructure during the development phase.”

“This collaboration between WeissBioTech and BRAIN creates the unique opportunity for the two companies to generate and exploit synergies in the White Biotechnology and BioEconomy fields and underlines the value of the strategic investment of BRAIN in WeissBioTech in November 2014. As expected, this turned out to be perfect example of a win-win situation in industry,” says Dr. Jürgen Eck, CEO of BRAIN AG, about the collaboration. “BRAIN gains the opportunity to channel its expertise in enzyme development and production into the interesting market for enzymes for production of dairy products via WeissBioTech. The first promising novel enzymes were identified ahead of schedule. Currently the candidates are in the scale-up and development phase.”

The total market of enzymes for the dairy industry is estimated to be at € 225 million in 2014 and showed a CAGR of 8% between 2012 and 2014. Enzyme products for the dairy industry thus address an interesting segment of the whole industrial enzyme market, which had a global volume of approximately €3 billion in 2014. Between 2006 (market volume €1.6 billion) and 2012 the enzyme market showed an annual growth rate of 8 percent.

Microbial production of dairy enzymes from technical scale to high volume bioprocesses.
© Luise Böttcher, Archive BRAIN AG

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