Debut Bio’s biosynthesis platform provides a scalable biomanufacturing approach while eliminating the need for traditional precious metal catalysts and toxic reagents
SAN DIEGO (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
Debut Biotechnology, a UC-Irvine spinout advancing scalable cell-free biomanufacturing, today announced that it has been awarded $1M from the Air Force Research Lab’s Biotechnology Grand Challenge. Debut Bio is the inaugural recipient of the award, which honors the company’s proposal on biosynthesis of monomers for aerospace applications.
In the proposal, Debut Bio details its ability to leverage the company’s scalable biomanufacturing platform for bio- and metal-free synthesis of polymer precursors relevant for the aerospace industry. Debut Bio’s platform will provide AFRL with the ability to effectively and efficiently biomanufacture specialty ingredients needed for aerospace applications. In doing so, Debut Bio expects to reduce aerospace material costs and improve vehicle maintenance processes by extending service lifetimes.
“The Air Force Research Lab has a well-documented history in discovering and leveraging breakthrough technologies. By offering a cell-free, continuous biomanufacturing process, we are excited to continue that legacy of innovation through our work with them,” said Dr. Joshua Britton, CEO and Founder of Debut Biotechnology. “Cell-free biomanufacturing enables the quality manufacturing of high-value molecules at a price point that scales far beyond what is possible today. In bringing this approach to the AFRL, we hope to usher in a new era of biomanufacturing for high-value molecules that is scalable, economically viable, and results in solutions that are efficient and effective.”
Debut Bio has applied its technology to the pharmaceutical and specialty ingredient industries, allowing customers to manufacture high-value molecules by combining custom-designed immobilized enzymes with continuous biomanufacturing processes. Through the utilization of plug-and-play enzyme cartridges, the company’s cell-free platform has the ability to transform low-value bio-renewable materials into high-value specialty chemicals.
“The Debut Biotechnology proposal provides a path to a scalable, bio- and metal free synthesis of key aerospace polymer precursors,” explained Dr. Davide Simone, AFRL’s technology advisor for biosynthesis of monomers for aerospace thermosets and senior research chemist. “Expected benefits for the Air Force include a significant savings in composite aerospace structural material costs and the elimination of oxidation promoting metal catalysts from structural components, extending service lifetimes.”
Debut Bio’s enzyme cartridges are sequentially arranged in a manner which mimics pathways found in plants and other organisms. Each cartridge is finely-tuned to provide the ideal temperature, pH, concentration, solvent, and reaction time for each individual step to maximize enzymatic productivity and product titer levels. The platform requires far fewer steps than traditional materials manufacturing and avoids the use of environmentally harmful chemical synthesis. Importantly, it overcomes many challenges typically associated with relying on cells for biomanufacturing or extraction of ingredients from plants and other sources.
In Debut Bio’s system, materials are passed from one enzyme reactor to another to build in-vitro or “cell-free” biosynthetic pathways. The company’s platform uses a sustainable approach by leveraging advanced enzymes outside of the cell to maximize performance and avoid issues with cell-based fermentation systems. The platform technology operates under a continuous manufacturing regime, allowing Debut Bio to scale beyond the capabilities of other manufacturing processes currently on the market, which are constrained by the precipitation of enzymes, the need for multiple large reactors, and the specific requirements of enzymes. By leveraging continuous manufacturing, Debut Bio is able to drive down the cost of cell-free manufacturing to provide scale, consistency, novelty, and ultimately the ability to produce a biomolecule with the click of a button.
Debut Bio serves organizations across the defense and specialty ingredient industries, with commitments from several large scale manufacturers to integrate its platform into their existing pipelines.
To learn more, please visit: https://debutbiotech.com.
About Debut Biotechnology
Debut Biotechnology is commercializing cell-free biomanufacturing solutions by creating advanced enzyme-based manufacturing processes for high-value molecules. Our platform combines immobilized enzymes with highly controlled and automated continuous manufacturing systems for the pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries.
Debut Biotechnology was founded by Joshua Britton, Greg Weiss, and Brady Beauchamp and is based in sunny San Diego. To learn more, please visit: https://debutbiotech.com/.2