Meiogenix and Lesaffre enter into a collaboration agreement to develop improved industrial yeast strains using Meiogenix’s recombination technologies. The PhoeniX technology developed by Meiogenix controls the process of natural meiotic recombination and generates efficiently non–GM recombined yeast cells particularly for industrial strains where meiosis is impeded.
Meiogenix is a French biotech company that develops technologies to increase the genetic diversity of organisms by modulating meiosis and targeting recombination. Under the collaboration agreement Meiogenix will apply its non-GM technology to discover novel yeast strains with improved industrial properties that will be then industrialized by Lesaffre, a global key player in yeasts and fermentation.
“We are delighted of this collaboration with Lesaffre, a worldwide key player in the industrial yeast field. In the last few years we have carried out several R&D projects in yeast and we are glad to put into play the expertise and technologies we have developed. We believe that PhoeniX, a proprietary non-GM technology, can have a major impact in the yeast industry, especially for food applications where mainstream genetic engineering technologies are not yet an accepted option.” says Giacomo Bastianelli, Co-founder & CEO of Meiogenix.
The global market value for industrial yeast is projected to grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 8.8% and expected to reach $3.6B by 2018. The recent advances in genetic engineering techniques (e.g. CRISPR/CAS9, synthetic biology) can have an unprecedented impact in the development of novel yeast strains but severe concerns about genetically modified organisms used in the food and beverage industry are still a major hurdle for any development and commercialization. Therefore, research efforts will aim at developing new screening methods and technologies for the isolation of natural recombinants with the desired properties.
“Innovation has always been at the heart of Lesaffre’s development. Research and Development is one of Lesaffre’s key drivers for success. Being the brainchild of Dr. Alain Nicolas, a scientist at the Institut Curie, Meiogenix’s innovative technology represents for us an opportunity to generate diversity in yeast. As an alternative to mutagenesis, this technique can improve yeasts and be applied in many fields from baking yeast to biofuels”, says Didier Colavizza, R&D Biotech Center Director at Lesaffre.