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Developing Fermentation Technology to Produce Specific Cannabinoids for Research and Consumer Use

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Tags: Cultivation, Research, Isolates

Andrew Horwitz, PhD explains the progress achieved in developing fermentation technology to produce specific cannabinoids for research and consumer use.

Andrew describes the ground-breaking technology his team has developed to produce cannabinoids via fermentation. Over the last two years, Demetrix has identified and addressed several emergent challenges in moving the biosynthetic pathway into yeast. These include adaptation and improvement of cannabis enzymes for expression in yeast, extensive engineering of the yeast cell to support pathway function and balancing of metabolic precursor pools. This work has yielded strains capable of converting low-cost feedstocks (sugar and carboxylic acids) into single, highly pure cannabinoids. A key feature of the technology is the ability to feed different carboxylic acids into the pathway. This allows one engineered strain to make a wide range of cannabinoid derivatives, representing both rare natural compounds (e.g. varins) as well as new to nature variants. This novel approach to medicinal chemistry provides not only the initial chemical matter required for testing, but a means to quickly scale production of promising compounds by fermentation. Current work is focused on process development and manufacturing of the first target molecules, establishing collaborations to study the function of rare and novel variants and initiating regulatory approvals.

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