Codon Devices and Agrivida Enter into Development Agreement for Biofuel Applications
News Aug 14, 2007
Codon Devices, Inc., the Constructive Biology Company™, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Agrivida Inc. for the discovery, development and commercialization of engineered proteins for use in biofuel applications.
This agreement represents the unveiling of Codon Devices’ BioLOGIC™ Engineering Partnering Program under which partners can gain strategic access to the Company’s proprietary development technologies.
The BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform combines sophisticated design algorithms with advanced assay and protein engineering capabilities to result in a revolutionary system for the rapid design, discovery and optimization of proteins for specific applications.
An integral component of the BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform is Codon Devices’ BioFAB™ Production Platform which produces high quality synthetic genes at a lower cost and quicker turn-around time than ever before available.
Agrivida, an agricultural biotechnology company, is developing corn varieties optimized for producing ethanol, a clean renewable biofuel. Under the Agreement, Codon Devices will, in exchange for a royalty and performance-based payments, utilize its BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform to develop enzymes optimized for use in Agrivida’s proprietary ethanol production technology.
Traditional methods for manufacturing ethanol make use of the corn grain only, leaving the remaining plant material, such as the corn leaves, stalks, and husks in the field. These remaining parts account for fifty percent of the total biomass yield per acre of farmland, but they cannot be economically converted into ethanol using today's technology.
Central to Agrivida’s ethanol-optimized corn technology are engineered enzymes that are incorporated into the corn plants themselves. These enzymes will efficiently degrade the entire mass of plant material into small sugars that can then be readily converted to ethanol.
The optimized enzymes that Codon Devices will develop will allow Agrivida to further optimize the degradation process throughout the entire plant resulting in significant improvements to ethanol production.
“This collaboration underscores the value of our BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform for the rapid development of superior proteins with desired properties, such as enzymes with highly specialized functions,” said Brian M. Baynes, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Codon Devices.
“With traditional approaches to developing such enzymes, this normally would be a one to two year project with no certainty of the outcome. In contrast, using our BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform, we expect to be able to deliver these optimized enzymes to Agrivida in six to nine months.”
“We have been working with Codon Devices over the past several months for our custom gene synthesis needs. We are thrilled with this new opportunity to partner with Codon and leverage its BioLOGIC™ Platform in our own research and development.” said R. Michael Raab, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Agrivida.
“Codon Devices’ development of these enzymes will help advance our development and commercialization of technologies that will dramatically improve ethanol production.”
“This agreement demonstrates the power of Constructive Biology™ to accelerate research and development in important end markets such as biofuels,” said John P. Danner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Codon Devices.
“In addition to other biofuel applications, we anticipate that our BioLOGIC™ Engineering Platform will substantially accelerate development of many other important fields, such as next-generation biosecurity, improved agricultural products, and engineered vaccines and therapeutics.”
If a genetically or synthetically engineered organism is released into the environment, how will we know? How can we tell it apart from the millions of microorganisms that exist naturally in the wild? Researchers are now developing a biosecurity tool that can detect engineered microorganisms based on their unique DNA signatures.READ MORE