Our strategy centers on eukaryotic microalgae and their competitive advantages to produce ready-to-formulate active biodrugs. These tiny, photosynthetic unicellular microorganisms (<10 microns) have a fast growth rate, doubling their mass within hours, far exceeding that of any higher plant. Genetic transformation of their nucleus and chloroplast is accomplished using established methods, in accordance with regulatory guidelines. Intra- and inter-lots uniformity of the active compound is guaranteed by the cellular homogeneity, as long as the rules of industrial extrapolation are strictly respected.
Growing in sunlight in nature, these chlorophyllic plant cells can be produced in artificially illuminated photobioreactors, however not very productive. Various microalgae can also be grown on an organic carbon source, without the input of light, in industrial fermenters achieving much higher productivity. The compactness of the closed production system, preventing any risk of contamination and dispersion to the environment, is a decisive advantage over terrestrial plants.
Many microalgae are consumed as dietary supplements (Novel Food in Europe, GRAS in the USA). Their original cellular structure makes them suitable as effective vectors for oral, mucosal or topical delivery of biotherapeutic drugs.
Simplifications of the 'upstream' (USP) and 'downstream' (DSP) processes will lead to a significant reduction in production costs, by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude compared to the traditional techniques (animal cells).