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Syngulon and ULB announce the issuance by the USPTO of a first joint patent covering an antibiotic-free selection technology

Syngulon and ULB announce the issuance by the USPTO on March 19, 2024 of US Patent 11,932,672 covering an antibiotic-free selection technology based on bacteriocin/immunity for the production of recombinant protein or pDNA.

SERAING, Belgium and CHARLEROI, BelgiumMay 20, 2024 – Syngulon and ULB announce the issuance by the USPTO on March 19, 2024 of US Patent 11,932,672 covering the use of bacteriocin/immunity for controlled growth of microorganisms.

Antibiotics are widely used as selection agents for the production of a product of interest in microbial cells. However, several drawbacks are associated with antibiotic use, such as the large-scale spreading of antibiotics in the environment. In addition, the sequence coding for the resistance to the antibiotic in the DNA constructs represents an energetic burden for the production host inducing physiological stress negatively affecting the product’s yield and quality. This energetic burden is particularly relevant when the resistance-conferring gene is constitutively expressed at a high level.

The USPTO already issued three patents to Syngulon (US Patent 9,333,227/10,188,114/ 11,427,800) for the use of bacteriocin/immunity in any bacteria, yeast or algae for controlled growth of microorganisms. The newly issued US Patent 11,932,672 claims the use of “immunity only” and the control of the selection circuit according to the production fermentation. Professor Laurence Van Melderen (Laboratory of Bacterial Genetics and Physiology, ULB) and Mohamed El Bakkoury (Syngulon) are co-inventors of this patent.

These issued patents are part of a worldwide patent portfolio available for licensing by Syngulon in all fields of use on a non-exclusive base.

The (co)-inventor of these four patents is Dr Philippe Gabant, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Syngulon, one of the pioneers in the development of selection technologies. Dr Philippe Gabant is co-inventor of US Patents 5,910,438 / 6,180,407 / 7,176,029 licensed on an exclusive base to Invitrogen for the selection of recombinant plasmids. Dr Philippe Gabant is also co-inventor of US Patent 8,470,580 for production of recombinant protein that has been licensed on a non-exclusive basis to Sanofi Pasteur, GSK, and Merck/MSD. Professor Laurence Van Melderen (Laboratory of Bacterial Genetics and Physiology, ULB) is also the co-inventor of this last patent.

About Syngulon

Syngulon is a synthetic biology startup developing original genetic technologies using bacteriocins, discovered in 1925 by André Gratia in Belgium. They are ribosomally-produced, genetically encoded antimicrobial peptides produced by a wide variety of microorganisms.

Syngulon is a “Startup in the Labs”, meaning that we are collaborating with academic partners (e.g. ULB, UCLouvain, KU Leuven, Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium, Imperial College, UCL in London, UK, Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain).

Bacteriocins technologies developed by Syngulon in collaboration with academic partners are solving 3 problems:

1) antibiotic-free technologies for production in a fermentation process (for biopharma, enzymes and industrial biotech)

2) prevention of contamination by using bacteriocins that target the bacteria hurting the production process (e.g. ethanol, cooling towers, feed, animal health)

3) human therapeutic applications of bacteriocins as an alternative to antibiotics in the context of cancer + microbiome modulation + AntiMicrobial Resistance AMR (e.g. MRSA)

About ULB

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is a prominent French-speaking university in Belgium. ULB stands out for its close integration of academic excellence and cutting-edge research. ULB has developed a strategic approach to intellectual property management and valorization, through its Knowledge Transfer Office (ULB-KTO). With the support of the Walloon and Brussels Regions as well as European funds (ERDF), the ULB-KTO team of multidisciplinary advisors assists researchers in the socio-economic valorization of their research results. More information here.

About ULB Laboratory of Bacterial Genetics and Physiology

The Laboratory of Bacterial Genetics and Physiology of ULB has a long-standing expertise in the field of toxin-antitoxin systems and their biotechnological applications. The present US Patent 11,932,672 relies on bacteriocins and their immunity proteins (functionally equivalent to toxin-antitoxin) to produce antibiotic-free recombinant DNA or proteins.

Media Contact

GUY HELIN, SYNGULON, 32 475470708,