Novozymes buys Organobalance to boost microbial tech position

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture:iStock. The price was not disclosed but Novozymes said it will not impact financial outlook for 2016
Picture:iStock. The price was not disclosed but Novozymes said it will not impact financial outlook for 2016

Related tags Bacteria

Novozymes has acquired microbial research company Organobalance to strengthen its position in microbial technologies.

The German-based firm owns a large collection of microbial strains, some from the 1920s, and has capabilities in microbial screening and assay technology.

It specializes in developing natural microbials for customers and partners across industries including food, feed, and animal health.

These offer improved shelf life and protection from microbial contamination and against infections with pathogenic bacteria and (re-)establishment of healthy gastro-intestinal microflora after infections.

Additional commercial opportunities

Sebastian Søderberg, VP for new business development, incubation and acquisitions at Novozymes, said the deal will additional commercial opportunities.

“The experience of Organobalance’s founding scientists, and the company’s know-how, immediately strengthen Novozymes’ existing capabilities within microbial technologies,” ​he said.

“Both companies strongly believe that innovative biological solutions can make a real, positive difference in the world and help tackle many of modern society’s biggest challenges.

“Together, our solutions fundamentally allow customers to produce more from less, reduce environmental impact, improve health and replace chemicals.”

The BioAg Alliance, Novozymes’ and Monsanto’s collaboration, markets inoculant products which help plants with nutrient uptake and biocontrol products to help protect plants against pests and diseases.

Last year the Alliance tested more than 2,000 microbial strains across 500,000 field trial plots in 50 US locations.

Moving forward

Organobalance has 29 employees and was co-founded in 2001 by Prof Dr Christine Lang.

The firm will be integrated into Novozymes’ organization but will be based in Germany to benefit from established biotechnology capabilities and strong ties to German academia, innovation environments and markets.

Microbials or microbes are microorganisms and are classified into various groups, including fungi (yeasts and moulds) and bacteria.

Microbials can produce beneficial compounds such as enzymes or biochemicals, obtained through industrial fermentation, a process by which microbials grow and can turn inputs such as sugar into more complex molecules.

Prof Dr Lang, who will continue as general manager, said: "By becoming part of Novozymes, we will have access to a global R&D network and an extensive infrastructure to bring products to market - a clear advantage for us and our customers.

“When two well-established companies such as Novozymes and Organobalance team up in biological research to confront challenges in technology and society, it benefits people and the wider bioeconomy of Germany."

Related topics Business Food Safety & Quality

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