DMC Biotech completes pilot-scale production of fermented L-alanine

US-based DMC has reached amino acid fermentation targets despite technical hurdles

Matt Lipscomb, CEO of DMC Biotechnologies, explains the new production success


Founded in 2014, Duke University spinout DMC Biotechnologies has successfully produced its lead product, L-alanine at pilot scale. Commercial key performance metrics were achieved and performance from the bench scale was also demonstrated at 3m3 scale fermentation and for each of the downstream purification unit operations.

The robustness of DMC’s Dynamic Metabolic Control technology to the process environment was also validated.

The predictability of the DMC process has been demonstrated from high throughput screening to commercially relevant scale. Kilogram-sized samples of on-specification product are currently being provided to potential customers, paving the way to commercial launch later this year. No further strain improvement or process engineering is required.

Hurdles

During the execution of the fermentation, a technical failure of an inlet valve in the pilot plant resulted in a material deviation from the protocol. This type of mechanical issue is commonplace in the real world of industrial fermentation.

The DMC strain and process were not materially affected by this deviation and the target metrics were still achieved because of the robustness of the technology and the timely response by BPF’s operators.

In contrast, most of the current bioprocesses today would have been un-recoverable to this type of deviation.

Raimo van der Linden, Business Development Manager, Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF) said: “We recreate real life industrial conditions at BPF and help companies such as DMC validate their technology at pilot scale. The robustness of DMC’s process was thoroughly challenged during this work. The demonstration of robustness to the process environment is truly game-changing for the field of industrial biotechnology."

Matt Lipscomb, CEO & Co-Founder of DMC said: “Successful pilot scale production is an important step towards full commercialisation of L-alanine which will happen later this year. We knew our Dynamic Metabolic Control process was robust. It has been further proven through real-world operating conditions at BPF’s pilot plant.”

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