Enduro Genetics on a positive curve to long-living fermentation

Thursday 22 Apr 21

Warm winds are blowing over Enduro Genetics ApS. During the last year, the spinout from DTU Biosustain has raised 470,000 EUR in a pre-seed grant from the incubator BioInnovation Institute, and won an Innovation Fund Denmark grant and a prestigious project with the US Agile BioFoundry.

The Copenhagen-based biotech company is a young tech provider committed to improving large-scale bioproduction by addicting biological production cells to high production levels. Enduro Genetics' technology simplifies the challenging transition of bioprocesses from R&D stage to large-scale production that both upcoming and more established biotech companies experience.

Enduro Genetics commercialises a synthetic biology expression technology called EnduroSense. This technology, conceived at DTU, targets cell-to-cell variation in bacteria and yeast and promotes high-producing cell variants over long time scales. Recent scientific studies have shown that cellular heterogeneity can play a major role during large fermentations. EnduroSense enriches the natural high-producer cells and therefore is able to enhance the output of fermentation processes substantially.

"With the support and industrial interest, we are really excited to show the impact of our technology in long-running bioreactors and important industrial organisms, ranging from different bacteria to yeast," says Peter Rugbjerg, CEO and Co-founder of Enduro Genetics and former Postdoc at DTU Biosustain.

Enduro Genetics optimises large-scale fermentation by making the workhorse cells genetically addicted to producing valuable products ensuring that the cells' performance is maintained at a constant high level during longer processes. Actually, the technology has already proven capable of maintaining high-producing cells in a population even as the cells divide beyond 60 generations, which are usually required in industrial bioproduction.

"With an economic boost we hope to further accelerate our technology to cope with this challenge and to receive valuable help in raising more capital to solidify the company"
Peter Rugbjerg, CEO and Co-founder of Enduro Genetics

The recent admission to the BioInnovation Institute provides an opportunity to further scale up the technology platform with industrial biotech companies and to implement EnduroSense in existing commercial fermentation processes. Enduro Genetics were selected together with six other international projects and start-ups through BII's 'open call' scheme, and the company sees the investment as a validation of its potential.

"There are a lot of promising biotech ideas made with cells that struggles to maintain a high production all the way to commercial scale. With an economic boost we hope to further accelerate our technology to cope with this challenge and to receive valuable help in raising more capital to solidify the technology, " says Peter Rugbjerg.

Enduro Genetics is already implementing the first generation of their addiction fermentation technology EnduroSense with early partners.

Awarded US Agile Biofoundry Grant

The spin-out company from DTU Biosustain has not only received attention from the start-up incubator BII based in Copenhagen. In June 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of eight projects totaling over 5 million USD to conduct research and development needed to accelerate the US biomanufacturing sector. One of the eight selected companies was Enduro Genetics and they have now become part of an Agile Biofoundry Consortium that will address key challenges in current bioproduction. The goal for the Danish biotech company will be to showcase its technology in industrially relevant host organisms to demonstrate its ability to improve titer, rate and yield.

The U.S. biotech field is especially interesting to Enduro Genetics due to the start-up scene in the U.S.

"Being an integrated part of this consortium provides us with a unique access to test our technology platform in collaboration with the big number of biotech start-ups based in the U.S. and we already now find that many early-stage companies show great interest in working together with us," says Peter Rugbjerg.

While other companies in Europe are also working to improve the efficiency of bacterial fermentation, one example being the Belgian company Syngulon, Enduro Genetics believes that their unique EnduroSense platform will transform fermentation-based manufacturing.

"We are excited about seeing our work pay off in a growing number of industrial bioprocesses in the future and we will continue to work hard to make this technology a great success," emphasises Peter Rugbjerg.

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