Bioceres’ agro-industrial biotechnology segment focuses on production of enzymes that have industrial application and/or microbial fermentation solutions for variety of industries.
The agro-industrial biotechnology segment is currently focusing on two technology platforms:
|Molecular Farming Platform||Bacillus Fermentation Solutions|
|Bioceres has developed a safflower-based molecular farming platform for industrial enzymes valued at <$5,000/kg.
Bioceres has developed a mechanized process to allow low-cost extraction and purification of targeted enzymes during wet milling of safflower grain.
|Bioceres utilizes genetically engineered B. subtilis strains for the conversion of low cost sources of organic carbon to higher value molecules or compounds.
Fermentative feedstocks include soybean glycerine as well as other lipids and sugars.
The following table summarizes our current agro-industrial biotechnology pipeline of products in development.
For industrial enzymes valued at $5 or less per gram, we have developed a safflower-based molecular farming platform. This safflower-based molecular farming platform consists of directing expression of an enzyme, specifically on the safflower grain. This method allows us to use the harvested grains as an efficient way of storing enzymes prior to just-in-time processing.
Development of the GM safflower used in our molecular farming applications follows the same R&D phases applicable for any other GM seed project. However, since the safflower crop in Argentina is contract grown for specific downstream industrial application, the advanced development and regulation phase is greatly simplified due to less demanding regulatory requirements as compared to other GM solutions.
A significant aspect of our molecular farming platform is the development of a mechanized process to allow for low cost extraction and purification of the targeted enzymes during wet milling of the safflower grain. Our most advanced molecular farming technology is SPC, a technology for the production of bovine chymosin, an enzyme used in the manufacturing of cheese. We are currently producing and commercializing small amounts of the enzyme from our pilot facility. We are additionally in the process of completing the plans for the development of our first industrial facility, as we intend to commence full commercialization of the technology by 2016.
SPCel and SPCel Max refer to the production of cellulases (SPCel) and ligninases (SPCel Max) derived from our enzyme bio-prospecting efforts using our safflower-based platform. These enzymes are required in high amounts and at very low costs (cents per gram) for the production of fermentable sugars from cellulosic raw materials. We are developing these products in collaboration with YPF, which seeks to further the production of second-generation bioethanol using these solutions.
Bacillus fermentation solutions refers to the use of genetically engineered Bacillus subtilis strains for the conversion of low cost sources of organic carbon to higher value molecules or compounds. We are currently developing solutions for the production of biopolymers such as PHA/PHB, biodiesel, and ectoine—a protective substance that helps organisms survive certain types of stress conditions—from soybean glycerin. We also use Bacillus fermentation solutions for cost-effective production of biological pest control agents.