News 719 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Novozymes accelerates enzyme research with MorphoSys Technology

MorphoSys AG, a German biotechnology company, and industrial enzyme manufacturer Novozymes signed a licensing agreement for MorphoSys' patented Slonomics technology.

Using Slonomics as an automated enzyme engineering tool will allow Novozymes’ researchers to reduce the time needed to develop new enzymes.
“In order to develop the best enzymes in the most efficient way we need access to the best available technologies," says Ejner Bech Jensen, Vice President of Novozymes Research & Development.
“The Slonomics toolbox will enable a reduction in our discovery times. This means we can bring new innovation to the market faster and we can take on more development projects.”
Needle in the haystack
In the search for enzymes with a specific action Novozymes’ researchers create multiple variants of an enzyme in order to find the one with the best properties.
The variants are produced by making minor changes to the string of amino acids, which are the enzyme’s building blocks. This is followed by a screening procedure to identify the best enzyme candidate.
Due to technical drawbacks with standard technologies, researchers cannot currently combine amino acids exactly as they want without also producing millions of additional undesired enzyme variants.
All variants then have to be screened in a task similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Slonomics technology, which comprises patented methods and know-how, advanced materials, and robotic equipment, allows the combining of building blocks in exactly the preferred order and composition.
Researchers can thus create only the desired diversity among the enzyme variants, eliminating all the undesired combinations.
In a typical scenario the number of necessary variants can be reduced from millions to 10,000.
“We have been delivering high-quality collections of DNA sequences to Novozymes for the past 3 years, and I'm very pleased that we're able to expand our business relationship significantly with this licensing arrangement,” comments Dieter Feger, Senior Vice President at MorphoSys.
Novozymes becomes the first industrial biotech company to have access to Slonomics technology.

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