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Lesaffre acquires Recombia Biosciences

Lesaffre announced the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences, a biotechnology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, based on technology licensed from Stanford University. Lesaffre had initially partnered with the American company, to use Recombia Biosciences’ genome-editing technologies and accelerate the development of yeasts for sustainable production of fermented ingredients. The partnership marked Lesaffre’s entry into the world of synthetic biology, considered to be one of the largest biotechnology opportunities of this decade. 

Over the past two years, Recombia and Lesaffre have joined forces to design and develop new innovative yeast strains and to optimize the production of several bio-sourced ingredients and biofuels. For Lesaffre, the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences is part of a comprehensive strategy to invest heavily in research and development to unlock the full potential of microorganisms, such as yeast or beneficial bacteria. 

“With the acquisition of Recombia Biosciences, we are enriching the group’s portfolio of cutting-edge technologies to accelerate innovation in yeast development and production, and we are surrounding ourselves with new talent that we warmly welcome. Innovation is part of Lesaffre’s DNA. This acquisition is a perfect illustration of Lesaffre’s mission: working together to better nourish and protect the planet”, says Brice-Audren Riché, Lesaffre’s CEO.

Recombia Biosciences will be docked to the Lesaffre Bioengineering Center of Excellence, a major department of the Lesaffre Institute of Science and Technology, the company’s corporate R&D entity made of almost 200 very passionate, international researchers.

Recombia Biosciences will keep its name and will continue to operate at its location in Brisbane, California. At this stage, Recombia Biosciences’ main mission will be to exploit its high-throughput genome editing and synthetic biology technologies to benefit the businesses of Lesaffre. The future direction of Recombia’s scientific and technical programs will be jointly defined by a specific Lesaffre-Recombia Board chaired by Recombia cofounder Lars Steinmetz.

“We are extremely happy to welcome by our side, highly recognized scientists in the world of high-throughput genome editing and synthetic biology. We are convinced that the collective brain intelligence it will bring will catalyze cutting-edge prospects, particularly in the areas of Health and Environmental protection”,  said Christine M’Rini Puel, Lesaffre Chief R&D Officer. 

“I am excited for Recombia to become part of Lesaffre. I believe that by combining our genome editing technologies and synthetic biology skills with Lesaffre’s deep knowledge and experience with fermentation and working with microorganisms at industrial scale, we will be able to achieve a lot together”,  added Justin Smith, PhD, Recombia’s CEO, in a press announcement.

Photo: Chokniti Khongchum (Pexels)