One John Marshall Drive
Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, Suite 314
Huntington, WV 25755
Progenesis was established based the discovery of the genetic signal that activates production of the biopolymer alginate in the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Alginate is a polysaccharide that contains two types of sugars whose relative abundance and distribution dictate the physical characteristics of the polymer
This biopolymer is very versatile and is used in industrial applications such as textile manufacturing and water treatment. It is also used food and personal care products for emulsification and texture. Importantly it is used in a number of biomedical applications such as an excipient for tablets, advanced wound care, 3-D growth of cancer and stem cells as well as a matrix/scaffold for tissue engineering.
Currently alginate is produced commercially from brown seaweed. However, the yield of this crop cannot keep up with the increased demand for alginate. Also, the effect of warming sea temperatures and acidification due to increased CO2 levels on yields of brown seaweed is a concern. The seaweed alginate composition, at present cannot be changed to improve its performance in its multitude of applications.
Certain bacteria namely Pseudomonas and Azotobacter also produce alginate. However, due to low and inconsistent synthesis of the biopolymer by these bacteria, its production and use has not been commercialized
Progenesis, using patented technology has overcome this obstacle and is employing additional genetic engineering to commercialize bacterial alginate and to enhance its performance in current and new applications.