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Deep Blue BioTech

Deep Blue BioTech are an exciting new company using nature to make specialty chemicals. The chemical industry is a huge polluter, accounting for around 2% of total CO2 emissions.  Although if all the chemical manufacturing steps are accounted for, the carbon footprint of the chemical production industry is much closer to 8%.  The methods to make chemicals are often energy intensive, requiring high pressures and temperatures, using rare and expensive catalysts, further, the feedstocks are generally fossil derived. Clearly changes are needed to help make chemical production more sustainable, and Deep Blue BioTech might have the answer, bacteria.

The founders of Deep Blue BioTech: Manuel Rios CEO, Tim Corcoran COO and Andrej Ondracka CSO, with experience in the cosmetic industry, molecular genetics and business development, met on the Carbon 13 Venture Builder programme in 2023.  The Venture Builder programme is for determined individuals from the UK and beyond, who don’t have a startup yet but want to find likeminded individuals to co-found and build climate-tech startups.   After meeting, they discussed how they could achieve their goal of sustainable chemicals and decided cyanobacteria offered the most robust and cleanest approach.

Cyanobacteria are a unique class of bacteria, undergoing photosynthesis. Capturing, and utilising CO2 they are able to convert this to biomass using light as an energy source. Cyanobacteria are ancient and are extremely robust, able to survive in many different environments, and normally we would consider them a pest. However, upon genetic modification it is possible to tailor their generated biomass to produce specific chemicals and this is exactly the approach Deep Blue BioTech have undertaken.

Once the strain was selected, the chemicals came flowing, with Deep Blue BioTech targeting specific specialty monosaccharides and polysaccharides. These are used widely within the cosmetic industry, usually from fossil derived precursors. Since they identified their strain they have started more research through genetic engineering to improve the productivity. They have recently acquired lab space at Rothamsted Enterprises, where Strategic Allies Ltd is also based, and are setting up the lab to perform further genetic testing.

They are not the first company to try this approach, but they have managed to fix many of the problems associated with cyanobacteria and chemical synthesis. These problems include low chemical yields and slow strain growth, which has limited commercial chemical production using cyanobacteria, which Deep Blue BioTech’s strains do not suffer from, distinguishing them from the crowd. They have a strong Intellectual Property plan in place to exploit their unique strain of cyanobacteria.

Outside of the lab, they are making real progress commercially, with letters of intent already in place. They are interested in finding new customers and partners within the cosmetic and chemical sectors who can use their technology to help the transition to a carbon neutral world. Their Pre-Seed round is opening soon and they are looking for investors who can contribute to their sustainable journey.

We are excited to have such exciting innovators on our door step and are looking forward to seeing their progress towards a green tomorrow. Hopefully soon we will be seeing cyanobacteria derived chemicals on our shelves! If you are interested in working with or investing in Deep Blue Biotech please reach out to their founders to learn more!  Here’s a link to their website.

Images courtesy of Deep Blue Biotech