Lesaffre acquires biotech company Recombia Biosciences

FRANCE—Lesaffre has acquired genome engineering firm Recombia Biosciences as part of a comprehensive strategy to invest heavily in research and development to unlock the full potential of micro-organisms, such as yeast or beneficial bacteria.

This acquisition is the culmination of a strategic partnership initiated in 2020 to leverage Recombia Biosciences’ genome-editing technologies and accelerate the development of yeasts for sustainable production of fermented ingredients.

Over the past two years Recombia and Lesaffre have designed and developed yeast strains and optimized production of several bio-sourced ingredients and biofuels.

“With the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences, we are enriching the group’s portfolio of cutting-edge technologies to accelerate innovation in yeast development and production, and we are surrounding ourselves with new talent that we warmly welcome,” says Brice-Audren Riché, chief executive officer of Lesaffre.

“Innovation is part of Lesaffre’s DNA. This acquisition is a perfect illustration of Lesaffre’s mission: working together to better nourish and protect the planet.”

Recombia Biosciences will keep its name and will continue to grow dynamically at its location in Brisbane, California. At this stage, Recombia Biosciences’ main mission will be to exploit its high-throughput genome editing and synthetic biology technologies to benefit the diverse businesses of Lesaffre.

With the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences, we are enriching the group’s portfolio of cutting-edge technologies to accelerate innovation in yeast development and production, and we are surrounding ourselves with new talent that we warmly welcome

Brice-Audren Riché, chief executive officer of Lesaffre Tweet

The future direction of Recombia’s scientific and technology programs will be jointly defined by a specific Lesaffre-Recombia Board chaired by Recombia cofounder Lars Steinmetz.

Founded by Justin Smith, Bob St.Onge and Lars Steinmetz, Recombia Biosciences licensed its core technologies from Stanford University. These technologies are unique and based on techniques that increase the efficiency of genome editing and enable very high-throughput strain engineering.

“From our very first discussions we have shared a common vision of how our respective strengths could synergize and create new opportunities,” Dr. St.Onge says. “We are very excited to be joining Lesaffre and are looking forward to addressing challenges together with new and innovative fermentation solutions.”

According to Lesaffre, the ability to generate thousands of yeast strains in parallel, combined with laboratory automation, will exponentially accelerate the development of projects in the health, environment and energy fields.

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