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.
Twelve start-up companies have spun out of JBEI to date. Currently operating companies 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/
Berkeley Yeast uses metabolic engineering to improve the oldest biotechnologies–brewing and winemaking. The company’s first technology replaced the use of hops – an expensive, variable, and non-sustainable agricultural product–by engineering brewer’s
yeast to biosynthesize hop-derived flavor compounds during the industrial brewing process. Formerly Berkeley Brewing Science.
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
Perlumi Chemicals is pioneering a new route to hydrogen peroxide production for the pulp and paper industry, where it is used as a bleaching agent. Replacing chemical catalysts with enzymes, this innovation can remove organic solvents from more than half of hydrogen peroxide production, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by millions of metric tons.
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/