Lesaffre’s acquisition of Recombia Biosciences will tap into genome editing and synthetic biology
08 Sep 2022 --- Global fermentation company Lesaffre has acquired Recombia Biosciences, a biotechnology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The partnership marks Lesaffre’s entry into Synthetic Biology, considered “one of the largest biotechnology opportunities of this decade.”
This acquisition is the culmination of a strategic partnership initiated in 2020 to leverage Recombia Biosciences’ genome-editing technologies and accelerate yeasts’ development for sustainable fermented ingredient production.
Optimizing yeast strains
Over the past two years, Recombia and Lesaffre have joined forces to design and develop new innovative yeast strains and to optimize the production of several biosourced ingredients and biofuels.
For Lesaffre, acquiring Recombia Biosciences is part of a comprehensive strategy to invest heavily in research and development to unlock the full potential of microorganisms, such as yeast or beneficial bacteria.
“With the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences, we are enriching the group’s portfolio of cutting-edge technologies to accelerate innovation in yeast development and production, and we are surrounding ourselves with new talent that we warmly welcome,” explains Brice-Audren Riché, Lesaffre’s CEO.
Continuing growth dynamic
Recombia Biosciences will be docked to the Lesaffre Bioengineering Center of Excellence, a major department of the Lesaffre Institute of Science and Technology, the company’s corporate R&D entity made of almost 200 international researchers.
Recombia Biosciences will keep its name and continue growing dynamically in Brisbane, California.
The company’s main mission will be to exploit its high-throughput genome editing and synthetic biology technologies to benefit the diverse businesses of Lesaffre.
The future direction of Recombia’s scientific and technical programs will be jointly defined by a specific Lesaffre-Recombia Board chaired by Recombia cofounder Lars Steinmetz.
“We welcome highly recognized scientists in high-throughput genome editing and synthetic biology. We are convinced that the collective brain intelligence it will bring will catalyze cutting-edge prospects, particularly in the areas of Health and Environmental protection,” adds Christine M’Rini Puel, Lesaffre’s chief R&D officer.
Meanwhile, Justin Smith, Recombia’s CEO, says: “By combining our genome editing technologies and synthetic biology skills with Lesaffre’s deep knowledge and experience with fermentation and working with microorganisms at an industrial scale, we will be able to achieve a lot together.”
Founded by Justin Smith, Bob St.Onge and Lars Steinmetz, Recombia Biosciences licensed its core technologies from Stanford University.
These technologies are unique and based on techniques that increase the efficiency of genome editing and enable very high-throughput strain engineering.
The ability to generate thousands of yeast strains in parallel, combined with laboratory automation, will exponentially accelerate the development of projects in the health, environment and energy fields.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
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