475264 Metabolic Engineering of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae for Increased Production of Opioids
Opioids are the primary drugs used in Western medicine for pain management and palliative care. Farming of opium poppies remains the sole source of these essential medicines despite diverse market demands and uncertainty in crop yields due to weather, climate change, and pests. Researchers at Stanford University recently demonstrated production of the opioid compounds thebaine and hydrocodone from sugar in engineered yeast strains. This milestone achievement combined enzyme discovery, enzyme engineering, and strain optimization to assemble a functional pathway containing over 20 different enzyme activities from plants, mammals, bacteria, and the native yeast host. At Antheia, Inc. we are further developing yeast strains and fermentation processes to translate this proof-of-concept work into a commercially viable venture. The result will be a sustainable, lower cost, and more secure and stable supply of opioid pharmaceutical ingredients.
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