Entrepreneurial spirit is embedded in JBEI’s culture. Research programs are run with entrepreneurial fervor, commercial utility of JBEI technology is the ultimate measure of success, and JBEI researchers frequently leave to join start-ups or are instrumental in forming new companies.
Nine start-up companies have spun out of JBEI to date. These are:
Ansa Biotechnologies is developing a new technology for de novo DNA synthesis using enzymes. Their method promises to be faster, more accurate, and cleaner than existing DNA synthesis methods. Availability of high-quality synthetic DNA is often a bottleneck in metabolic engineering research, so improved methods for DNA synthesis would accelerate innovation the field. Website: https://www.ansabio.com/
Constructive Biology is commercializing the PKS (PolyKetide Synthase) platform of technologies developed at JBEI to create new, bio-based manufacturing platforms for biofuels, commodity chemicals/polymers, and fine chemicals/fragrances. PKS-based manufacturing provides the ability to custom-design high-performance molecules that are infeasible to obtain with traditional chemical synthesis from petroleum feedstocks.
Illium Technologies produces ionic liquid solvents from lignin. The ionic liquids can be used for biomass pretreatment to produce cellulose and/or glucose for biomanufacturing. Illium was formed to commercialize JBEI technology for the synthesis of ionic liquids from lignin. Website: http://www.illiumtech.com/index.html
Lygos produces “bio-advantaged” chemicals, where petrochemistry cannot compete with biochemistry. Lygos is currently commercializing its first product, malonic acid, and its platform for synthetic biology is being exploited to develop a number of pipelined products. In 2015, Lygos was nominated by QB3 as Synthetic Biology Startup of the Year. Follow: @LygosBiotech; Website: www.lygos.com
Maple Bio is a human nutraceutical and nutrition company based on aromatic amino acid pathway engineering technologies created by JBEI scientists. Maple Bio seeks to use new, bio-based manufacturing approaches to open new markets for high-valued compounds that have proven health and wellness benefits.
TeselaGen Biotechnology, Inc. is developing a fully integrated solution for synthetic biology. Their DNA design and assembly platform provides the most advanced Bio CAD/CAM system available and makes genetic engineering cheaper and faster. Since 2012, TeselaGen has had an exclusive license to distribute JBEI’s j5 and Device Editor software for DNA assembly to commercial users. Website: https://www.teselagen.com/
JBEI Affiliated Start-Ups
JBEI start-ups Cascade Fluidics and Evodia are not currently going concerns.