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 Awarded NIH Funding to Optimize Cannabinoid Production in Yeast

CALIFORNIA: Librede, a San Diego-based synthetic biology company, has received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve Cannabidiol production in genetically engineered yeast.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of several pharmacologically active chemicals (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant and has been shown to be useful in treating a wide range of diseases including childhood epilepsy. Librede recently completed another NIH Phase I SBIR to engineer production of CBD from sugar; Librede’s new award will improve the yield of CBD production in preparation for commercial launch. Dr. Anthony Farina, Librede’s Chief Scientific Officer, explains, “Our pioneering work producing cannabinoids in yeast has given us a number of insights into the redirection of yeast metabolism for CBD production. During this NIH award, our team will implement these insights to improve production efficiency of our current CBD-yeast system. High throughput techniques and new gene editing tools allow us to make a large number of modifications and screen them for performance rapidly and inexpensively.”

Although the therapeutic value of many cannabinoids is well recognized, their primary source is the cannabis plant, which produces most of the 70+ cannabinoids in very low amounts, requiring problematic large scale agricultural production. Dr. Jason Poulos, Chief Executive Officer of Librede, explains: “As demand for cannabinoids increases we must find an environmentally and economically sustainable way for their production. Large scale agricultural production is environmentally destructive, requiring huge amounts of land, water, fertilizers, pesticide and energy. Our yeast-based system is superior to agricultural production with respect to all of these areas.”

Although the focus of this award is on CBD, Librede’s platform is capable of making many different cannabinoids. “It is straightforward to modify the engineered yeast to produce a number of different cannabinoids,” said Dr. Farina. “Many of these cannabinoids are produced in plants at such low levels that it is infeasible to produce them agriculturally. We are very excited to expand the range of cannabinoids produced for use in pharmaceutical studies.”