Synthetic biology start-up Allozymes’s new biotechnology platform can deliver sustainable, scalable manufacturing of natural ingredients with custom-designed enzymes.
Allozymes, a synthetic biology start-up based in Singapore, has announced that US$5 million have been raised in a seed financing round led by Xora Innovation, a deep science investment platform of Temasek Holdings. SOS, TI Platform Management, and Entrepreneur First also participated in the round.
Co-founded by scientist-entrepreneurs, Peyman Salehian, PhD and Akbar Vahidi, PhD in 2019, the start-up’s unique, scalable technology platform leverages custom-designed enzymes to deliver cleaner, greener, sustainably-produced natural ingredients.
“Think of enzymes as autonomous nano-scale bio-machines that build molecules or break them down as needed, to provide energy, weaponry and construction material for living cells. It takes millions of years for nature to evolve these bio-machines for natural processes like the creation of cheese and wine but at Allozymes we accelerate the evolution of these bio-machines and engineer them in a matter of weeks,” explained Dr. Akbar Vahidi, CTO of Allozymes.
A key step to successful enzyme engineering is selecting the right enzyme. However, given the wide range of enzyme variants, finding the right enzyme is much like searching for a needle in a haystack. This slow, arduous, and costly process has become a major bottleneck for the development of niche industrial enzymes and prevented wider industrial adoption.
Fortunately, the latest innovation by Allozymes has made this complex search much faster and simpler. With their powerful propriety platform, millions of enzyme variants can now be analysed and mapped in just one day, thus boosting the probability of developing the most effective and fit-for-purpose enzyme for a given commercial application.
Through various pilot projects with innovative pharma, agri-food, and personal care companies, Allozymes has also established its ability to produce novel functional enzymes in a fraction of the time and cost needed by robotics technology. The enzymes include oxidases, reductases, isomerases, and hydrolases, all of which are workhouse enzymes of industrial biotechnology. Additionally, the platform can generate massive enzyme performance datasets, exponentially larger than its competitors.
“We plan to utilise this data for enzyme discovery, design, and optimization. Ingredient manufacturers would only need to search in our data set to find the right enzymes for their needs or to quickly improve their available enzymes,” said Dr. Peyman Salehian, CEO of Allozymes. “Our biotechnology platform enables the sustainable and economical production of natural ingredients for a broad array of industrial applications, everything from sweeteners, to natural colours, to vitamins, personal care and cosmetic ingredients, for a start.”
“Whether for food, fashion, fuels, or electronics, Allozymes enables commercial access to custom enzymes at unprecedented speed, scale and quality,” stated Donna See, CEO of Xora Innovation. “Embedded in the fastest-growing sustainable products market in the world, Allozymes is well-positioned with a unique value proposition for ESG-minded partners in the region and beyond.”
Given its widespread applicability, Allozymes’s technology has attracted strong demand in the ASEAN and broader APAC regions. As such, the company plans to establish its Singapore-based manufacturing and business infrastructure and satisfy the international demand with the proceeds of the seed financing.
“Engineered enzymes have only just skimmed the surface of their potential impact. Allozymes exponentially speeds up enzyme development, enabling engineered enzymes to become a foundational part of the future of agriculture, biofuels, CPGs, and chemical processing,” commented Duncan Turner, General Partner of SOSV.