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January 7, 2009

Strategic collaboration between Genencor and Brain

Gerald Ondrey

Genencor (Palo Alto, Calif.;, a division of Danisco A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark; and Brain AG (Zwingenberg, Germany;, have joined forces in the field of the bio-based fermentative production of industrially relevant biochemicals from renewable raw materials.

Genencor will use its extensive capabilities in metabolic pathway engineering and bio-manufacturing of industrial bio-products and Brain AG’s world leading expertise in the fields of metagenomics and screening technologies, to pursue product targets for the chemical industry.

Brain will provide Genencor access to these technologies and especially to its vast metagenome resources of some150 million genes of yet uncultured microorganisms. Enzymes and biosynthetic pathways of interest will then be genetically engineered in microbial production strains for the production of important biochemicals.

This new collaboration announced today expands upon the successful collaboration first established in 2004, where the two companies joined forces to develop a new enzyme product platform.
For Brain, the collaboration is also an important milestone in the company’s strategy of further expanding its strategic partnerships with globally successful partners from the biochemical industry, thereby strengthening the industrial network at its disposal and ensuring increased support for future projects.
For Genencor, “the field of innovative biochemicals offers a significant new opportunity for business growth and the strategic application of our core competency in the design and operation of cell factories”, explains Karl Sanford, vice president technology development at Genencor. “BRAIN’s capabilities and expertise in metagenomic enzyme discovery fits nicely within our model for open innovation where we look to make the transition from bench to market more effective and efficient.”

“In today’s industrial ‘white’ biotechnology sector, it is crucial for our company to position itself as an integrated solution provider for the development of marketable products”, says Jürgen Eck, CTO of Brain AG.

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