21-Sep-2017 - Evonik Industries AG

Evonik is investing in NUMAFERM

Start-up makes the production of peptides more efficient

Through its Venture Capital unit, Evonik has invested in the start-up NUMAFERM and now holds a minority share in the spin-off of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. The investment was made as part of a seed financing round and also includes investments by High-Tech Gründerfonds, the Business Angels and Qiagen co-founders Detlev Riesner and Jürgen Schumacher, as well as the European Investment Fund. The volume of the overall round of financing is in the one-digit million-euro range. “Peptides and their applications are highly interesting for our growth engines Health & Care and Specialty Additives. In addition, Evonik has great competency in biotechnology. That makes NUMAFERM an outstanding strategic match for us,” says Bernhard Mohr, head of Venture Capital at Evonik.

Currently, peptides are used above all as pharmaceutical or cosmetic active ingredients. In addition to their role as active pharmaceutical ingredients, peptides and proteins in general are a commercially interesting class of molecules, which are used in a variety of medical, cosmetic, and nutritional-physiological applications. The corresponding markets are the focus of the Health & Care growth engine at Evonik. Of particular interest are applications such as ingredients for cell culture media and for nutritional supplements or medical nutrients. Evonik is advancing the industrial use of peptides through its Specialty Additives growth engine.

The production of peptides, which are usually produced through chemical synthesis, is expensive. The reasons for this are the high quantities of raw materials needed, the complex process steps, and the usually low yields. NUMAFERM has now developed a technology platform, which enables plannable biotechnological production of peptides at higher yields and at lower costs. The technology can be used for almost all peptides, and production on an industrial scale .

“The technology can be used for almost all peptides, and production on an industrial scale becomes possible. As a result, new technical applications for peptides also become realistic for the first time. In HTGF III fund investor EVONIK, NUMAFERM now has a strong partner at its side that will enable it to enter into the implementation phase with a targeted approach,” explains Dr. Philipp Rittershaus, Investment Manager at HTGF.

Initially, NUMAFERM plans to use the fresh capital to drive forward technological development and get the first products to market maturity. “In Evonik we have found a strategic investor with extensive experience in developing innovative technologies and in tapping new markets,” says Christian Schwarz, co-founder and managing director of NUMAFERM.

Schwarz laid the scientific foundations for the technology of NUMAFERM in his doctoral thesis at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. The company was founded at the start of 2017 as a spin-off of the Institute of Biochemistry. Previously, the project was supported by an EXIST research transfer of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, among others.

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    NUMAFERM revolutionizes peptide production

    The Dusseldorf university spin-off NUMAFERM specializes in the biotechnical production of peptides and is able, through its newly developed platform technology, to dramatically reduce costs for this raw material. For the further technological development and an accelerated market entry, NUM ... more

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    NUMAFERM GmbH

    NUMAFERM is a spin-off company from the Institute of Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. The cornerstone of NUMAFERM’s IP was laid by Dr. Christian Schwarz and Dr. Sander Smits, chaired by Prof. Dr. Lutz Schmitt. Following several pre-seed projects, for example „EXIST-Forsc ... more

    NUMAFERM GmbH

    NUMAFERM is a venture capital backed startup company from Duesseldorf, Germany. It is a spin-off from the Institute of Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf. The cornerstone of NUMAFERM’s IP was laid by Dr. Christian Schwarz and Dr. Sander Smits, chaired by Prof. Dr. Lutz Schm ... more

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