Flemish InBiose and Dupont collaborate to bring human milk oligosaccharide to market

Flemish Industrial Biotech to industrial scale and market

HMOs are a group of unique oligosaccharides found in mother’s milk, with 2’-fucosyllactose being the single most abundant HMO. HMOs are key in helping infant nutrition products (baby milk powders) move another step closer to matching the composition of human milk. Breast milk feeding provides natural protection to common infections as it contains antibodies (immunoglobulines). HMOs, found in breast milk, have been identified to help shape an infant’s gut microbiome and a balanced immune system development. A growing body of evidence suggests that HMOs benefit the health of developing infants by supporting digestive, immune and cognitive development. This collaboration makes it possible to add this HMO to infant nutrition products. While breast feeding gets more complicated when mommy gets back to work after maternal leave, HMO in infant nutrition products can prolong the positive effect of HMOs. In addition, when babies or mothers have difficulties with breast feeding, baby milk powder with HMO resembles human milk closer and is thus beneficial.

For the synthesis of highly complex carbohydrates such as HMO, organic synthesis is not an efficient production method because of the high chirality and excessive presence of hydroxylic groups in the carbohydrate building blocks. Also extraction of these compounds from natural sources is hampered by the substrate availability and extraction cost. To solve this problem, an efficient biotechnological production method for specialty carbohydrates has been developed and finetuned for industrial production by InBiose (Ghent, Belgium). Last years, InBiose succesfully scaled up their production process from pilot to demonstration scale.The partnership with Dupont is currently focusing on developing the ingredients for market introduction by implementing an industrial-scale fermentation process and submission for regulatory approvals to enter the market in 2017.

You can read the full press release here.