As part of seed financing eCAPITAL entrepreneurial Partners AG’s Gründerfonds Münsterland and High-Tech Gründerfonds II (HTGF) have made a seven-figure investment in Cysal GmbH. The spin-off from the University of Münster (WWU) will use the funds raised to accelerate business development, set up bio-technological mass production of dipeptides and launch the first finished products on the market.
“There is great worldwide demand for improving the effect of nutraceuticals, animal feed, or cosmetics via innovative supplements. With its patented biotechnological process for the production of dipeptides Cysal GmbH has a clear unique selling proposition on this market,” says Marcel Vonnahme, Investment Manager of eCAPITAL AG. Now, the partners aim to successfully enter this growing market.
Proteins and free amino acids are currently being used in many applications, for instance in the production of food supplements or cosmetics. Dipeptides, chemical combinations of two amino acids, are superior to both proteins and amino acids in many areas of application, but their chemical synthesis is expensive and time-consuming. By contrast, Cysal produces dipeptides by means of a biotechnological manufacturing process which has distinct advan-tages: “With its biotechnological expertise the company possesses the skills required to produce these substances quicker, inexpensively and more resource efficiently than is the case in conventional production methods,” explains Vonnahme.
Cysal has developed bacterial strains that can produce cyanophycin (CGP) on an industrial scale within a short period of time – on a purely biological basis. In nature this process takes place, for example, in blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), but yields are too low for commercial exploitation.
Cysal subsequently extracts arginine-aspartate and lysine-aspartate dipeptides from CGP. Unlike other industrial products consisting of only amino acids or mixtures, dipeptides are chemical compounds composed of two amino acids. “Dipeptides are considerably better absorbed by the body than amino acids, for example via the intestines or through the skin,” explains Dr. Ahmed Sallam, Managing Director of Cysal GmbH.
These dipeptides are used as base materials for the production of end products. The company has already developed initial formulas for an energy tonic, a skin cream, fish feed additives, and infusions. Initial agreements for these products have already been concluded with distribution partners. In addition, marketing of the dipeptides as raw materials in the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries as well as out-licencing the process is conceivable.
Together with eCAPITAL, HTGF participated to an equal extent in the seed financing. “Cysal has a patent-protected platform technology and dipeptides are a relevant component to many partners in the chemicals industry. In addition, this case is a good example of how a market-relevant product can develop from basic university research,” says Dr. Matthias Dill, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds.