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Synthesis of Omphalotin A and familiar secondary metabolites




A Berlin-based university has developed a method to synthesize Omphalotin in fungal host organisms which allows the selective production of natural or modified Omphalotin that could be used in the protection of plants against pathogenic nematodes. The institute is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license or a research cooperation agreement.



The production of new antibiotics based on cyclodepsipeptides (CDPs) is known to be problematic on an industrial scale. (A depsipeptide is a peptide in which one or more of its amide, -C(O)NHR-, groups are replaced by the corresponding ester, -C(O)OR.) Many depsipeptides have both peptide and ester linkages and their synthesis can be optimized by using fungal expression systems. Omphalotin A, a product of particular interest here, shows strong and selective activity against plant pathogenic nematodes.
The fungal, ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptide (RiPP) offers the possibility of further investigation of this hitherto unexplored field. In addition, Omphalotin A shows the peculiarity of N-methylations in the peptide backbone, a structural property previously only known for non-ribosomal peptides.
The invention of a Berlin-based university involves the synthesis of Omphalotin A and its modified secondary metabolites in fungal host organisms (Genera Aspergillus, penicillium and yeast). The necessary enzymes were identified and modified by the introduction of altered gene sequences (synthetic or by PCR - polymerase chain reaction). This allows the selective production of either natural or modified Omphalotins. The advantages of this method are the possibility of fed-batch cultivation in a bioreactor using a genetically modified host organism and optimized metabolism independent expression. (A fed-batch is an operational technique where one or more nutrients are fed to the bioreactor during cultivation and in which the products remain in the bioreactor until the end of the process.) This enables satisfactory metabolite yields with high purity, including the production of linear N-methylated peptides.
The university is interested in a cooperation in the framework of a license agreement or a research cooperation agreement. A future licensee would have the authorization to use the synthesis method in return for a fee or a share of royalties. The client would also agree to a research cooperation agreement which leads to further optimisation of the method to enable a large scale production process.

Partner expertise sought:

- Specific area of activity of the partner: The university is looking for partners from the biotechnology or pharma industry, plant protection production or biological research for a license or a research cooperation agreement.

In the framework of a license agreement partners like industry, SMEs or academic would be authorized to use the licensed synthesis route in the process of the further development of the technology.

In a research cooperation agreement the partner could be industry, a SME or a university to further develop the technical aspects of the technology in a joint project. The aim should also be the upscaling of the developed technology

Advantages & innovations:

- Controllable fed-batch-cultivation enables and optimised production process
- The technology leads to a higher yield and purity
- Synthesis of both natural and artificial omphalotins is possible
- Use of fungal expression systems leads to an opitmized systhesis

Development Stage:

Available for demonstration - A small scale prototype is availabe for demonstration.


Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted - An international patent is pending.

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License agreement Research cooperation agreement


Materials Technology \ Energy Topics \ Physical and Exact Sciences \ Medicine and Health \ Life Sciences \ Chemistry & Chemical Engineering \ Renewable Energy \ Big drug delivery client
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / Biology / Biotechnology / Protein Engineering / BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / Biology / Biotechnology / Synthetic Biology / BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES / Industrial Biotechnology / Bioprocesses
Research and experimental development on biotechnology
GENETIC ENGINEERING/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY / Biochemistry / Biophysics / GENETIC ENGINEERING/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY / Enzymology/Protein Engineering/Fermentation