Librede Receives Patent For Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA) Production In Yeast

CALIFORNIA: Librede, a leader in natural cannabinoid biosynthesis, has been granted a new patent for the production of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) in microorganisms.

The patent, Production of Cannabidiolic Acid in Yeast, describes the modification of yeast to produce CBDA from simple feedstocks such as sugar. CBDA is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis which is used to produce cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic properties, including treatment of epilepsy, for which a CBD-based therapeutic has won recent FDA approval.

 Librede is now in the process of continuing technology development through optimization and scaling for industrial production in large fermenters. Dr. Anthony Farina, Librede’s Chief Scientific Officer, explains: “We have been building our platform around the natural biochemistry in the cannabis plant that gives rise to a diverse set of compounds, with our focus being on therapeutic applications. Having engineered cannabidiol synthesis in the laboratory, we are now beginning the process of scaled up production.”

Fermentation for the production of high value, complex, natural products offers a preferred route to synthesis at an industrial scale. Librede’s biosynthetic approach has several potential advantages over agricultural-based methods including protection from supply volatility, improved consistency, reduced cost, and lower environmental impact. Dr. Jason Poulos, CEO of Librede, explains: “The use of fermentation to produce these compounds represents the future of industrial scale cannabinoid production. As more cannabinoids are shown to have therapeutic value, we must find a way to produce these compounds in a sustainable way. Utilizing the synthetic power of biology allows us economical access to these compounds while minimizing environmental impacts. The future of all cannabinoid production may not be large farm fields but instead compact and highly efficient fermenters.”

Librede Inc. Awarded Highly Competitive Phase II SBIR Grant From NIH

CALIFORNIA: Librede, an early stage biotechnology company, has been awarded a $1,490,000 Phase II Small Business Innovative Research Grant (SBIR) from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further develop and scale their proprietary yeast-based cannabinoid production platform.

The NIH SBIR program is a highly competitive program aimed at translating cutting edge research with large societal, health, and economic benefits into commercial products. This new grant follows the successful completion of a previous Phase I SBIR award granted to Librede by NIH, covering development of complete biosynthesis of cannabidiol (CBD) in yeast. This platform technology has been patented by Librede (Patent # 9,822,384) and will serve as the basis of an industrial scale pharmaceutical cannabinoid production system.

In the new Phase II award, Librede will improve titers and scale the technology in large bioreactors. Dr. Anthony Farina, Librede’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Principal Investigator of the new Phase II award, explains Librede’s technology and current focus, “By harnessing the power of genetic, metabolic and protein engineering, we have developed a highly robust system to produce the valuable therapeutics found in the cannabis plant. We have successfully demonstrated the production of CBD in yeast from low cost feedstocks such as sugar. The CBD produced in our system is identical to agriculturally produced CBD, but our system is more efficient and better controlled. Now we will begin to scale our technology. This is the last technical step that must be addressed before we can move into production and provide high quality, pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids.”

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids that are currently being explored as therapeutic agents for a wide range of diseases. As new uses for these compounds are discovered, the market for cannabinoids will continue to rise globally, with many estimates placing the market size in excess of $50B in 2020, with that of CBD alone being $2.1B. As the market rapidly expands, this industry will require innovation that can increase volume, reduce costs, and improve the quality of these therapeutic compounds. Librede’s fermentation platform has the ability to meet this demand.

Dr. Jason Poulos, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Librede explains, “Other industries have turned to biotechnology to source high value ingredients in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. Here at Librede we are taking a similar approach to the large scale production of cannabinoids. Agricultural production is high in cost and not environmentally sustainable requiring large amounts of land, water, labor, pesticides, fertilizers, and energy. By utilizing a different manufacturing approach, production is faster, lower in cost, and uses less water, less land, and less electricity, while requiring no fertilizers or pesticides. Although our initial focus is CBD production, development of this technology is also applicable to production of other cannabinoids.”