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Novo Holdings invests €86m in 21st.BIO

Novo Holdings is set to invest €86m in 21st.BIO A/S – a new Danish bioindustrial scale-up company – to boost the production of proteins.

Established in 2020, 21st.BIO has been founded with a mission to support bioindustrial companies globally in upscaling from molecule innovation to large-scale production to be able to meet market demands and thereby advance the green transition globally. The company produces proteins and peptides that can be utilised for the food, materials and agricultural industries. It is estimated that as much as 60% of the physical inputs to the global economy could be produced biologically. 

The technology platform of 21st.BIO originates from selected parts of Novozymes’ platform. The start-up that was founded last year helps customers optimising and developing the appropriate expression platform for large-scale production of their particular molecule by testing the molecule using various expression platforms, such as fungi, yeast or bacteria. When the right expression platform has been identified, 21st.BIO draws on its comprehensive strain bank and selects and optimises the best-performing strains. This leads to an optimised production platform that enables clients to produce their product at commercially attractive costs and quantities. Novozymes provides a co-exclusive licence to 21st.BIO within certain boundaries of applications, ensuring Novozymes’ ability to continue its leadership position in the areas where Novozymes operates.