• July 25, 2021
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  • How BioMedican biosynthesize cannabinoids? Biomedican “ferment” yeast to give cannabinoids


    Living in a fast-paced world demands us to continuously push ourselves to keep abreast of new trends in the scientific landscape. Advancement in every field, then why relying on old-fashioned plant-based cannabis production?

    Therefore, to stay in line with the current scientific research, scientists at Biomedican have fermented oily yeast Yarrowia Lypolitica (YL) to produce cannabinoids.

    Engineering yeast to produce chemical compounds has a long yet important history for humankind. In past decades, scientists have successfully made various hormones and drugs, including human growth hormone, blood clotting factors, insulin, and opiates from genetically modified yeast.

    Producing cannabis compounds having multibillion-dollar businesses and enormous therapeutic potential was challenging for scientists. Besides medical benefits, plant cannabinoids have associated toxic effects. The cannabis plant naturally releases its cannabinoids in oil droplets to curb these toxic effects. More the oil produced, more cannabinoids concentration. Biomedican overthrew this challenge with Yarrowia Lypolitica (YL), which produces oily drops inside their cells. Our scientists genetically engineered the Yarrowia Lypolitica (YL) strain that “ produces up to 80% of its weight in oils”. These oil droplets hold more quantity of cannabinoids than other non-oily yeasts.

    But unfortunately, an enzyme of engineered yeast YL became a roadblock in the journey to accomplish the goal- synthesizing 100% organic and pure cannabinoids. A naturally occurring enzyme of this yeast, NhpB synthase, produces undesirable by-products with a minimal quantity of CBG. Our researchers employed advanced bioengineering method to overcome this obstacle and successfully yielded a 99% higher CBG concentration.

    The production of CBG acted as a gangbuster and paved the way for a scientist to produce other major and minor cannabinoids. CBG is named the mother of all cannabinoids because it can make other cannabinoids including some never-seen-before cannabinoids. Once the CBG/CBGA was ready, scientists added new enzymes to yield other high-end cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and its acidic precursor tetrahydrocannabivarin acid (THCVA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and many rare cannabinoids.

    This way, Сannabinoids synthesis in Yeast produced natural, 100% organic, pure and non-GMO biosynthetic compounds that are 100% bioidentical to their counterpart found in nature.

    Conventional cannabis plant cultivation was an energy-intensive, environmentally destructive, tedious, and costly process eliminated by a fast, highly scalable, and ecologically friendly biosynthesis process. The revolutionizing method of cannabinoid production gives new hope to the clinical researchers eagerly waiting for a pure low-cost clinical-grade cannabinoid to advance their research.

    Production of consistent quality and quantity cannabinoids without by-products is a key feature of Biomedican’s biosynthetic platform.

    Author: Saba Iqbal

    Dr. Saba Iqbal is a contributing writer for BioMedican. She’s a rocket pharmacist turned writer. Dr. Saba’s education includes a doctoral degree in pharmacy (Pharm D) from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. In search of a career that would take advantage of her medical and pharmaceutical skills, Dr. Saba found medical writing – a career path a few medical students consider. In her journey “from a medical bench to pen,” she has worked with several startups for many years managing content on biotech products, pharmaceuticals, drugs, devices, and techniques. While keeping up with the latest trends in medical writing, she aims to use her writing skills to clearly communicate complex scientific, medical, and health information to the potential investor and general audience.


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