Insilico Biotechnology expands its patent portfolio with a biotechnological method for acrylic acid production

27 September 2016

Acrylic acid is a key raw material in polymer production with an annual demand of approximately four million tons and a market value of around 11 billion euros. Acrylic acid-based polymers are the basis of plastics and adhesives, and components in coatings, emulsion paints and polishes. They are also the major constituents of superabsorbent polymers which are used for instance in diapers.

This universal compound is currently almost exclusively produced using complex chemical processes involving petroleum. The biotechnological method that has now been developed by Insilico Biotechnology uses bacterial and yeast metabolic pathways to produce acrylic acid. As acrylic acid is toxic for many production organisms used in biotechnological processes, Insilico has a particular ploy: the synthesis pathway is divided so that the last step leading to acrylic acid takes place outside the cell. The company were able to develop this strategy because the acrylic acid synthesis pathway was designed in silico and simulated with network models to identify the optimal synthesis pathways and the enzymes and reactions involved.

"The awarding of this patent highlights the potential of our in silico platform for the development of new and efficient biotechnological production processes based on natural raw materials," says Klaus Mauch, CEO of Insilico Biotechnology AG. "We are working on the development of further innovative production processes, which will accelerate the transformation of the bioeconomy into a knowledge-based industry."


Dr. Daniel Horbelt | Business Development
daniel.horbelt [at]