mk2 Biotechnologies, Wacker, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are collaborating on a joint project targeting the development, large-scale production, and purification of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) for diverse applications. The project, which will run for two years, aims to take the final steps in rolling out industrially suitable AMPs as a sustainable alternative to artificial preservatives.

Due to cumbersome synthesis and the resultant high costs, the potential of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) remains mostly unexploited, according to bioprocessors. To make it possible to harvest the potential of AMPs in industrial-scale applications, the consortium plans to develop a scalable and cost-efficient production platform based on microbial fermentation using only sustainable raw materials in the production process.

The project particularly targets the development of new, highly potent AMPs, the development of a planetary circulating solid-liquid reactor, and the integration of both technologies into large-scale bio-production facilities.

“AMPs are a highly interesting product class, which we can produce with our innovative peptide synthesis platform. While providing high activities, conventional technologies have been struggling with large-scale AMP production at sufficiently low costs, a problem we aim to overcome within the joint project,” said Konstantinos Antonopoulos, PhD, managing director of mk2 Biotechnologies and project coordinator.

“Our partners excellently supplement our synthesis processes on all scales, so that we can refine our peptide production platform and develop new, high-efficacy AMPs. Since we are all based in the Greater Munich area, it will be extremely easy to exchange ideas and views. What’s more, we can adapt our partners’ considerable know-how and integrate it promptly into our ongoing development activities.”

“AMPs have an enormous potential to combat a large set of pathogens from families of fungi and bacteria. Together with our partners, we want to make AMPs more readily accessible to the market so that new applications can be developed for the pharmaceutical sector and beyond,” added Oliver Minge, PhD, head of innovation at Wacker Biosolutions. “Wacker brings expertise in biotechnological process development and industrial-scale fermentation to the partnership.”

“We are looking forward to providing and jointly optimizing our reactor technology and thereby contributing a disruptive tool for highly efficient solid-liquid reactions in biotechnological processes,” note Karl Glas, PhD, scientific director of water systems engineering at TUM. “We are convinced that we have found excellent partners for the development and integration of the reactor on both lab and large scales. The commercial application of our interdisciplinary process technologies will always be a core target of our research, particularly in the context of novel sustainable approaches like the industrial production of AMPs.”

The project is co-funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology in the context of the “BayVFP Life- Science Biotechnologie” funding program with up to Euros 980,000.

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