BERKELEY, Calif.–Lygos, Inc. has announced a new method of producing cannabinoids using a proprietary fermentation and processing technology that was developed by Librede, a synthetic biology company specializing in cannabinoid products. The new fermentation process supposedly enables the production of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-based products at industrial scale.
Librede, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lygos, had previously operated on grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The company’s technology was designed for the low-cost production of a wide range of cannabinoid compounds, including CBD. A February 2019 article in Nature sheds more light on the process of transforming a sugar in brewer’s yeast into THC and CBD. As Elie Dolgin writes, “The hope is that this fermentation process will enable manufacturers to produce THC, CBD and rare cannabinoids that are found in trace amounts in nature more cheaply, efficiently and reliably than conventional plant-based cultivation.”
In a press release, Librede CEO Jason Poulos stated: “Librede’s vision was to create a production platform for any cannabinoid at costs to drive widespread consumer access. To advance this vision, we needed the ability to access any compound, scale our technology to levels that support consumer product manufacturing, and form key marketing relationships for existing and emerging markets. We have achieved the first of these objectives, have definitive plans for the second, and are working diligently on the third. We are now very close to advancing the platform to provide direct benefit to consumers.” (Read more at Businesswire.)
So what does this actually mean for the cannabis industry? Lygos thinks they will be able to deliver high-quality, sustainable cannabinoids at commercial volumes and competitive prices and thus dominate the consumer market. But what might be lost in the translation? Stay tuned.