Hong Kong Science Park Company the First in the World to have Full Chain of
Enzymatic Technologies for Bio-Manufacturing
GeneHarbor’s innovations offer the promise of accelerating bio-manufacturing processes within the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food manufacturing industries
Hong Kong, 22 November – GeneHarbor (Hong Kong) Biotechnologies Limited (GeneHarbor), a Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) partner company, announced that it has developed the world’s first comprehensive biotechnology platform that applies enzyme-based, low-cost processes in manufacturing high-quality pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and food products. GeneHarbor is currently the only company in the world that has a complete chain of enzymatic production with advanced technology in each of the manufacturing steps.
Named Immobilised Enzyme Assembly for Cascade Biocatalysis, the biotech platform uses newly-developed industrial enzymes, proprietary technologies and groundbreaking enzyme-based manufacturing processes to develop drugs and food ingredients for various industries. The technologies, industrial processes, including the products manufactured using these processes, have been validated by international industrial standards bodies such as the American, EU and Japanese Pharmacopeia. GeneHarbor has also struck a few commercial deals with the leaders in the pharmaceutical and nutritional industries to apply their proprietary technologies for mass production, including COFCO, Kelun Pharmaceuticals, North China Pharmaceuticals, Furen Pharmaceuticals, among others.
Earlier this year, GeneHarbor opened a new 3,000 square feet laboratory in Hong Kong Science Park. This laboratory serves as the main R&D facility staffed by more than 30 research scientists, with many them holding advanced degrees in various relevant disciplines. The laboratory focuses on transforming laboratory techniques and technologies into commercially-viable industrial applications. GeneHarbor also has manufacturing facilities in Shanghai and Suzhou, China.
Enzyme-based Processes to Disrupt Conventional Methods in Bio-manufacturing
Enzymes and the accompanying co-enzymes are proteins that act as biocatalysts in chemical reactions, often used in the manufacture of drugs and health products. Currently, of the US$ 3 trillion worth of fine chemicals produced annually, only less than 4 percent are made by enzymatic processes.
“Green chemistry” is playing an increasingly important role in the manufacturing industry, and as such, enzyme-based manufacturing methods are much preferred by industry players. This new approach is set to revolutionise bio-manufacturing because they are highly specific in producing the final products with high yields, generating less waste and by-products. The reactions take place under mild conditions and usually do not use other potentially-polluting chemicals or require high temperatures and high pressures used in conventional chemical manufacturing processes. Enzymes are also non-toxic and biodegradable.
Professor Jun Wang, Founder and CEO, GeneHarbor (Hong Kong) Biotechnologies Limited, said, “Current methods of applying enzymatic processes in industrial manufacturing is not common because enzymes and co-enzymes are very expensive, and the bio-reactors in use today are not very efficient. After more than two decades of research and over US$150 million invested into exploring new enzymes, developing proprietary technologies never used before in the industry, we have established over a dozen new ways of producing pharmaceutical and food products. We are on the cusp of completely revolutionising the bio-manufacturing industry.”
GeneHarbor’s manufacturing innovations have already positively impacted the nutritional market, making some of the previously expensive products more affordable to the public. One example is β-Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), an anti-aging product. Over the last two years, GeneHarbor’s manufacturing methods have reduced the retail price of a NMN 9000 capsule from US$ 3,000 to less than US$ 200 today. For another product, the natural antioxidant glutathione (GSH), GeneHarbor’s manufacturing innovations have reduced solid waste and energy consumption by as much as 70 percent, compared to conventional processes.
George Tee, Chief Technology Officer, HKSTP, said, “The biomedical technology sector is one of the focus areas for HKSTP. We have played a pivotal role in nurturing biomedical companies in Hong Kong through providing them with the best environment and support to grow. As a spin-off from one of our local universities, GeneHarbor is a success story that showcases the high quality of research and talent within our academia. We are proud to have a local company like GeneHarbor develop its own world-leading technologies with local R&D scientists, and witness their partnerships with large pharmaceutical clients. I congratulate Professor Wang and his team for their innovations and may they bring bigger success for their customers in the healthcare industry.”
HKSTP has always been supporting the local development of Hong Kong’s innovation & technology (I&T) sector, and biomedical research is one of its key focus areas. Hong Kong Science Park currently has one of the most vibrant biomedical technology ecosystem, with more than 100 biotechnology companies involved in medical devices, molecular diagnosis, stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and advanced therapeutics. The Biomedical Technology Support Centre at Science Park provides R&D tools and affordable high-quality technical services for local research, especially for startups.
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About Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation
Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region.
Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth.
Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation Julia Cheung Tel: +852-2629 6891 E-mail: Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Immobilised Enzyme Assembly for Cascade Biocatalysisbiotech platform includes the following world-leading technologies:
Low Cost Enzyme Production Technology – This enzyme production technology makes enzymes that are 30 to 80 percent cheaper than existing technology.
Protein Expression and Purification Technology – GeneHarbor has a unique enzyme purification process that is 70 to 90 percent cheaper than existing technology. In addition to its application in enzyme industry, this technology has wider applications in the field of protein drug manufacturing, specifically monoclonal and polyclonal drugs.
Enzyme Bioreactor – GeneHarbor has invented a new class of bioreactor for enzymatic reactions. The enzymatic processes of this bioreactor have an increased 30 to 80 percent efficiency compared to current technology.
In Vitro Coenzyme Regeneration -- Co-enzymes, an obligatory ingredient for enzymatic production, are expensive and often account to over 90 percent of the total production cost. GeneHarbor has developed several low-cost systems that can regenerate or recycle several important co-enzymes in situ to effectively reduce the cost of these co-enzymes by as much as 95 percent.