Evonik achieves major biotech breakthrough with a new animal-free and fermentation-based collagen platform
- Recombinant collagen mimics attributes of human collagen
- Ultra-pure and highly soluble to enhance the safety and quality of pharma, medical and other biotech products
- Sustainable, scalable fermentation manufacturing process
- Requires no use of animal and human-derived materials
Evonik today announced the development of an advanced collagen platform that is made via fermentation-based processes and devoid of animal- or human-derived materials. The recombinant technology will, for the first time, provide pharmaceutical, medical, cell culture and tissue engineering markets with a highly soluble, ultra-pure form of collagen that is safe, sustainable and commercially scalable.
“This is arguably our biggest innovation breakthrough in recent years: a fermentation-based collagen platform that can effectively substitute the use of animal-derived collagen in pharmaceutical, medical, and cell culture markets.” said Dr. Thomas Riermeier, SVP and General Manager for the Health Care business line of Evonik. “We look forward to working with customers to develop the next-generation collagen products with an improved safety profile.”
“Biotechnology is an important lever for growth and innovation within Evonik Nutrition & Care that leverages our core competencies across fermentation, biomaterials and product industrialization,“ said Johann-Caspar Gammelin, Chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Nutrition & Care.
The new collagen platform strongly complements other recent fermentation-driven biotech breakthroughs that have been pioneered by Evonik, including biosurfactants for household and cosmetic applications (rhamnolipids) and omega-3 fatty acids from natural marine algae for animal nutrition (Veramaris).
Evonik’s proprietary collagen platform features a triple helix structure and other biological properties that mimic many of the attributes of natural collagen so it can reliably interact with cells and tissues and be readily absorbed or remodelled by the body.
Animal-sourced collagen, currently the main source of collagen for use in life sciences, can be associated with batch-to-batch variability, potential transmission of diseases or pathogens, adverse immunogenic or allergic reactions, and non-sustainable sourcing methods. Evonikâ€™s collagen is produced under controlled conditions via a fermentation-based process. In addition to being sustainable and suitable for vegan use, this process delivers an ultra-high level of purity that is easily reproducible at any commercial scale.
Evonik will utilize its established fermentation process technologies and global manufacturing network to commercialize the collagen platform for worldwide use. The Company’s application, formulation and manufacturing competencies will also be used to help customers develop and commercialize their own biofabricated products.
The new collagen platform will also support Evonik’s Tissue Engineering Project House, which was launched in Singapore in 2018 by the Company’s strategic innovation unit Creavis, to develop advanced biomaterial solutions in regenerative medicine.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €13.1 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion in 2019. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 32,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life, day by day.
About Nutrition & Care
The Nutrition & Care segment is led by Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH and contributes to fulfilling basic human needs. That includes applications for everyday consumer goods as well as animal nutrition and health care. This segment employed about 8,200 employees, and generated sales of around €4.6 billion in 2019.
About the collagen market
Collagen is the main structural protein family in the body, contributing between a quarter and one third of total protein mass in humans and other mammals. It is important in the formation and functionality of body parts such as skin, tissue, cartilage, organs, bone, bone marrow, cell membranes, ligaments and hair. It is commonly used as a biomaterial in health care due to its biocompatibility, degradability and structural properties that enable cell and tissue interaction. Product application areas include orthopedics, cardiovascular, wound care, ocular care, general surgery, dental care, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Virtually all medical and pharmaceutical-grade collagen used today is derived from animal-based sources.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.