Home Biological science Novo Holdings invests 86 million euros in 21st.BIO, a new large-scale bio-industrial company building on the technology base of Novozymes

Novo Holdings invests 86 million euros in 21st.BIO, a new large-scale bio-industrial company building on the technology base of Novozymes



Copenhagen, Denmark, December 21, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Novo Holdings, a leading international life science investor, today announced a significant investment in 21st.BIO A / S, a new Danish bio-industrial development company.

Founded in 2020, 21st.BIO was founded with the mission of helping bioindustrial companies around the world move from molecular innovation to large-scale production to be able to meet market demands and thus advance the green transition to worldwide. 21st.BIO’s focus areas include the production of proteins and peptides that can be used for the food, materials and agricultural industries. It is estimated that up to 60% of the physical inputs to the global economy could be produced organically.[i]

Today, much of transformational bioindustrial innovation never goes to commercialization due to the challenges that arise when production has to move from laboratory processes to large-scale manufacturing. The production environment in which the molecule was initially developed is often unable to deliver the right quality and at acceptable cost levels.

A common problem facing innovators in industrial biotechnology is also the lack of access to the skills and facilities to develop a process for producing molecules that can deliver the desired quality at the cost levels required to compete effectively.

Thomas schmidt, co-founder and CEO of 21st.BIO, said:
“Many brilliant ideas in industrial biotechnology never succeed, because the challenges of production lead to prices that are too high for the end product. As a result, a lot of otherwise great innovations fail to reach a scale at which they are truly relevant to the world. 21st.BIO, we can help establish the right technology to produce new molecules and peptides and thus help innovators successfully take the difficult leap from innovation to big business and impact on the planet. had access to a selection of Novozymes’ unique technology platform commercially, which means one success for 21stThe .BIO is also a success for Novozymes. “

21st.BIO’s technology platform comes from selected parts of the Novozymes platform, which has been developed and refined over the past 40 years.

Novozymes co-exclusively licenses 21st.BIO within certain application limits, ensuring the ability of Novozymes to maintain its leadership position in the areas where Novozymes operates.

Claus old woman Fuglsang, Executive Vice President of Novozymes, commented: “A strong industrial biotechnology environment, supported by start-ups enabling start-ups to take innovation to scale, will help build future markets. The entire industry will benefit from a flourishing development of new biological solutions. It is an opportunity to take advantage of our technology in a different context and to enable a transition to a bio-based company and to create more value – also for the shareholders of Novozymes. “

New manufacturing site in sight
Novo Holdings invests 86 million euros in 21st.BIO. Søren Møller, Managing Partner of Novo seeds, Novo Holdings, will join the board of directors.

“I am very happy to join 21st.BIO in its mission to help more organic solutions reach the market and thus enable the acceleration of the green transition. The technology that 21st..BIO offerings address a critical and unmet global need, and I see great potential for synergies and partnerships between 21st.BIO and other portfolio companies of Novo Holdings in the industrial biotechnology sector, ”said Søren Møller.

21st.BIO is currently operating in Denmark and California. Access to parts of Novozymes’ R&D platform and investment from Novo Holdings will allow the company to further expand its capacity.

“With access to a select portion of the Novozymes technology platform and funding from Novo Holdings, 21st.BIO will be able to grow and establish the premier manufacturing site to serve our customers globally. In addition, with Novo Holdings and Novozymes on board, we have access to a larger network and knowledge base, which is very beneficial “, Thomas schmidt noted.

Technology explained

21st.BIO helps customers optimize and develop the appropriate expression platform for large-scale production of their particular molecule by testing the molecule using various expression platforms, such as fungi , yeasts or bacteria. When the right expression platform has been identified, 21st.BIO relies on its comprehensive strain bank and selects and optimizes the best performing strains. This leads to an optimized production platform that allows customers to produce their product at commercially attractive costs and quantities.
For Novozymes, the opportunity base will materialize as 21st.BIO succeeds in its projects, and revenue will be generated from license revenue as the technologies are commercialized.

About Novo Holdings A / S

Novo Holdings A / S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo group, comprising Novo Nordisk A / S and Novozymes A / S, and is responsible for the management of the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Novo Holdings is recognized as a leading international investor in life sciences with a focus on long-term value creation. As an investor in the life sciences, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to early stage companies and takes significant stakes in growing and established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a large portfolio of diversified financial assets. More information: www.novoholdings.dk.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an independent Danish foundation with business interests. It has two objectives: 1) to provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities of the companies of the Novo group; and 2) supporting scientific, humanitarian and social causes.

The Foundation’s vision is to contribute significantly to research and development that improves the lives of people and the sustainability of society. Since 2010, the Foundation has donated more than 30 billion Danish kroner (4 billion euros), mainly for research in public establishments and hospitals in Denmark and the other Nordic countries. Find out more at www.novonordiskfonden.dk/en.

About Novozymes A / S

Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Together with our customers, partners and the global community, we improve industrial performance while conserving the planet’s resources and helping build better lives. As the world’s largest supplier of enzymatic and microbial technologies, our bioinnovation enables higher crop yields, low temperature washing, energy efficient production, renewable fuel and many other benefits that we rely on today and in the future. We call it Rethinking Tomorrow. www.novozymes.com

[i] McKinsey & Co, BioRévolution 2020