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Soetaert W., Beauprez J., Salvador P.
Inbiose NV, Ghent University, Belgium

Rare sugars such as L-fucose and sialic acid or human milk oligosaccharides such as fucosyllactose and sialyllactose are very difficult to synthesize. They play vital roles in animal and human health processes and are considered as an untapped source of innovation within the wellness, biomedical, Pharmaceutical, cosmetics High-end areas. Due to the lack of availability and lack of efficient technology to produce them, these products are consequently very expensive. For the synthesis of such highly complex carbohydrates, organic synthesis is not an efficient production method because of the high chirality and excessive presence of hydroxyl-groups in the carbohydrate building blocks. Also extraction of these compounds from natural sources is often hampered by the substrate availability and extraction cost.

Inbiose solved this problem via a highly efficient specialty carbohydrates production method which dramatically reduces their production costs. The method is based on the use of cell factories in which a natural pathway has been expressed for the synthesis of the target specialty carbohydrate.
Using our versatile platform technology, Inbiose can produce any naturally occurring specialty complex carbohydrate. Depending on the target, a biochemical pathway will be designed and expressed in one of the Inbiose proprietary base strains. Through synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, the production strains are optimized. The target carbohydrate is then produced by fermentation and is efficiently excreted in the culture medium. After fermentation, the target carbohydrate is recovered from the fermentation broth in high yield and purity using a simple down-stream processing. The production method is generic and has already been proven on an industrial scale.

The presentation will explain the features of the Inbiose technology and will highlight a number of concrete examples where a process to produce pure human milk oligosaccharides has been developed and commercialized in collaboration with an industrial partner towards infant nutrition.

Keywords: Human Milk oligosaccharides, Industrial biotechnology, Probiotics, Infant formula, Sialyllactose, fucosyllactose, Medical Nutrition

Soetaert W., Beauprez J., Salvador P. (2016). Efficient synthesis of specialty carbohydrates and human milk oligosaccharides through industrial biotechnology. Conference Proceedings of IPC2016. Paper presented at the International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics, Budapest (p. 71.). IPC2016

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