12-Nov-2012 - High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH

Gründer­fonds Münster­land and HTGF II In­vest in Cysal GmbH

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.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about High-Tech Gründerfonds Management
More about Cysal
  • Companies

    Cysal GmbH

    Cysal is an innovative biotechnology company based in Germany working in close partnership with the University of Münster and the Institute of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. Our key interest is harnessing microbial metabolic diversity for the development of novel industrial ferme ... more