Fermatics is a biotech start-up and a co-venture between Hafnium Venture Capital Pte. Ltd. (a Venture Capital company based in Singapore) and A*ccelerate Technologies Pte. Ltd. (the commercialisation arm of A*Star, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore).
Together with our partner, the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), Fermatics utilises the biotech platform which has been developed within A*Star over the recent years.
Fermatics specialises in the fermentation of nature identical products which are currently obtained by cost intensive extraction processes out of plants or oils. These extracts are extremely difficult to produce in quantities that make them commercially viable, and that is the main selling proposition for Fermatics – producing these extracts via a biotechnological route in commercially viable quantities. This makes these natural products appealing to companies that are seeking to create new product innovations within their own industries – be it cosmetics, flavour & fragrances, health & wellness or food additives.
Metabolic engineering is an enabling technology to biomanufacture natural products sustainably. It uses microorganisms as cell factories to produce natural products in a selective and consistent manner. Here, we have developed a cutting-edge metabolic engineering technology:
Multidimensional heuristic process (MHP), with the aim of achieving industrially leading Titers, Rates and Yields (TRYs). MHP employs state-of-the-art bioengineering tools to efficiently provides an overview of the pathway performance and directly pinpoints the rate-limiting step(s), thus accelerating engineering development. At the same time, we are further optimizing the TRYs by combining advanced enzyme engineering strategies. These technologies have been successfully applied to biosynthesizing viridiflorol at nearly theoretical yield.
Similarly, competitive TRYs of other carotenoids and apocarotenoids have also been achieved. Collectively, our technologies are promising to biosynthesize natural products at breakthrough TRYs beyond these examples.
For more information, please refer to our patents and publications.
(1) Zhang, C.; Seow, V. Y.; Chen, X.; Too, H.-P. Multidimensional Heuristic Process for High-Yield Production of Astaxanthin and Fragrance Molecules in Escherichia Coli. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9 (1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04211-x.
(2) Shukal, S.; Chen, X.; Zhang, C. Systematic Engineering for High-Yield Production of Viridiflorol and Amorphadiene in Auxotrophic Escherichia Coli. Metab. Eng. 2019, 55, 170–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymben.2019.07.007.
(3) Zhang, C.; Chen, X.; Shukal, S. Viridiflorol Production In Auxotrophic Escherichia Coli. Singapore Patent Application No. 10201907354Y.
(4) Zhang, C.; Chen, X.; Lindley, N. D.; Too, H.-P. A “Plug-n-Play” Modular Metabolic System for the Production of Apocarotenoids. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2018, 115 (1), 174–183. https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.26462.
(5) Zhang, C.; Chen, X.; Too, H. Production of Carotenoids and Apocarotenoids. United States Patent Application 20190367928, December 5, 2019.
(6) Chen, X.; Shukal, S.; Zhang, C. Integrating Enzyme and Metabolic Engineering Tools for Enhanced α-Ionone Production. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b00860.
Laboratory @ SIFBI