Pond Technologies Holdings (TSX.V: POND; OTCQB: PNDHF; FSE: 4O0), a technology leader in the cultivation of micro-algae, has announced the creation of a new division for biotech. With this step, Pond is following the corresponding demand from customers, according to the announcement published today.
In the future, Pond Biotech intends to use the company’s own microalgae breeding platform to use genetically modified microalgae as microscopic bio-factories for the production of complex proteins. The biological agents produced in this way can be used in diagnostics and therapeutic treatments. Protein therapeutic drugs are a new class of drugs used to treat diseases such as cancer, infectious diseases, and others.
Peter Howard, BSc., VP Project Development at Pond, said, “The use of microalgae to manufacture medical therapeutics has significant technical advantages over current production methods that use genetically engineered yeast, bacteria or mammalian cell lines. Algae are just as easily genetically engineered like the organisms mentioned, but they offer two important advantages:
First, microalgae are less sensitive and can produce much larger quantities of the desired molecules. Above all, micro-algae are much easier to grow on a large scale.
Second, microalgae produce a much better product. E. coli and yeasts are less developed organisms compared to algae and therefore cannot reliably reproduce complex human proteins.
Thanks to gene editing, algae can produce human proteins
With the development of both faster and more reliable gene sequencing technology and precise gene editing techniques (e.g. CRISPR / CAS-9) it is now possible to modify microalgae to produce human proteins. Unicellular algae are much easier to grow than mammalian cell lines, and unlike bacteria, algae reflect many of the secondary structures found in higher organisms. Algae are able to make the right protein with the right folding so that its therapeutic activity is maintained.
To explain the advantages of microalgae with regard to human proteins, Peter Howard uses the following comparison: “You can think of a protein like an origami shape. Every origami is based on a single piece of paper, but the paper can be used as a boat shape. or crane shape, which – when applied to proteins – each have a significantly different benefit or effect. Algae can produce the correct origami fold so that the protein works for humans “.
Grant Smith, CEO of Pond added, “The formation of Pond Biotech marks a significant milestone for our company. The test results that we have achieved so far in this new area are encouraging. While Pond’s technology is ideal for the Scaling up for the mass production of algae, our biotech department gives us the opportunity to manufacture an extremely valuable product in a small bioreactor. “
He sees the new biotech division as an important driver for the future of Pond, said Smith. At the same time, Pond wants to concentrate on generating income with its licensing business and in the area of dietary supplements.
About Pond Technologies Holdings Inc:
Pond Technology, based in Markham, Ontario, is a technology leader in the cultivation of microalgae in a controlled environment. In more than ten years of R&D, Pond has developed a robust disruptive technology platform based on artificial intelligence, proprietary LED lights and patented CO2 management. Using concentrated CO2 from industrial waste streams enables Pond to increase the productivity of microalgae well beyond the capacity of sun-powered algae production facilities, and enables industrial emitters to reduce and ultimately recycle CO2. Pond currently sells the microalgae-derived antioxidant astaxanthin under its Regenurex brand. As microalgae become increasingly important in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, nutraceuticals, human nutrition, aquafarming, bioplastics, and biofuels, Pond has begun licensing its technology to third parties in exchange for ongoing royalties and royalties. Pond has just launched a new biotech division that uses microalgae as a reproductive medium for the expression of human antibodies and proteins.
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