Since 2015 Algae-C, a Canadian developer of a novel Carbon-Negative, Algae-based Biomanufacturing Platform has been focused on one goal: revolutionizing the biomanufacturing industry. The company has invested over $10 million in research to reprogram the DNA of microalgae to transform it into a “micro-factory” that sustainably produces a wide variety of ingredients, with a particular focus on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In a span of eight years the company has successfully isolated and economically-synthesized five Pharma ingredients.
Algae-C’s R&D has led to the discovery of over 600 distinct ingredients produced by the company’s proprietary genetically-modified microalgae, of which 100 are pharma ingredients spanning antibiotics, alkaloids, steroids, opioids and anticoagulants.This achievement highlights the vast potential of the technology as companies struggle to transition away from chemicals and towards biology.
In the pharmaceutical sector, traditional microorganisms like bacteria and yeast are engineered to produce intermediates and ingredients, ranging from cancer-fighting compounds to advanced antibiotics. The production of complex, structurally-diverse molecules such as these comes at a high cost as it is resource-intensive and environmentally taxing. Algae-C’s platform, using microalgae, provides more efficient and sustainable pathways to these complex molecules, making production 66% more cost-effective and carbon-negative.
Algae-C’s platform “one-step” process is the differentiating factor. “This represents a major leap in the biomanufacturing industry, it is similar to when we transitioned from sourcing insulin from animals to biomanufacturing it from bacteria in the 1980s. Algae-based biomanufacturing is the next major leap, from multi-step to single-step biomanufacturing” said Mather Carscallen, CEO of Algae-C.
Algae-C’s platform takes ingredient production to the next level for the pharma, nutraceutical, chemical, beauty and other industries,requiring less genetic engineering, increasing yields, reducing input costs and contributing to decarbonization efforts. Algae-C’s platform is inherently carbon-negative, it features 99% water recycling, and can upcycle any waste biomass. Additionally, the technology can easily be deployed at the local level across the globe, minimizing supply chain risk.
Algae-C is currently in discussions with strategic partners to deploy its platform technology in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in the chemical production industry.