Xinteza Introduces Novel Key Enzyme to Solve Major Bottlenecks in Cannabinoid Biosynthesis

September 8, 2022

The new proprietary enzyme has clear advantages over existing solutions, significantly improving current day cannabinoid biosynthesis production systems

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Xinteza API Ltd., an innovative biosynthesis technology company, announced today the discovery of a new catalytic enzyme, capable of solving one of the major bottlenecks that has so far limited the design of sustainable and cost-efficient cannabinoid biosynthesis production systems, in breakthrough research led by Prof. Asaph Aharoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

As reported previously, Xinteza has recently unveiled discoveries for a patent-pending whole new non-cannabis source of cannabinoid biosynthesis related genes and enzymes. This newly discovered gene pool includes a novel prenyl-transferase enzyme, featuring superior kinetics and improved flexibility in introduction into micro-organism-based expression systems.

The prenylation stage in cannabinoid biosynthesis is the last and major step in the formation of CBGA, the "mother" molecule of most other known cannabinoids such as THCA, CBDA and CBCA, however the original enzyme used by the Cannabis Sativa plant loses a substantial amount of its activity when introduced into yeast and bacteria expression systems. Several alternative genes have been suggested over the years by various research groups to bypass this prenylation roadblock, but mostly suffered from severe usability deficiencies, such as impaired chemical kinetics or freedom-to-operate issues.

The new prenyl-transferase enzyme PT-X introduced by Xinteza elegantly solves this severe bottleneck by offering improved catalytic activity, in the range of 5-fold better than the original Cannabis Sativa enzyme, as well as high compatibility for introduction into micro-organism-based cannabinoid biosynthesis industrial production systems.

Xinteza is operating in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Plant Metabolomics lab headed by Prof. Asaph Aharoni, and based on a license by Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute.

"As we expand our IP's commercialization and collaboration activity, we are highly motivated by this pivotal discovery of such a key novel enzyme. The flexibility and efficiency of PT-X have the potential to dramatically improve the cost to efficacy ratio of current cannabinoid biosynthesis production, due to its significant advantages over existing prenyl- transferase solutions" said Alon Gal, Xinteza's CEO. "We continue to optimize commercial-scale processes of cannabinoid biosynthesis with the most sophisticated proprietary cannabinoid producing genes and enzymes from our growing portfolio", Gal added.

"This enzyme's discovery which is an important link in the wider chain of discoveries in the quest for rare and new cannabinoid active ingredients with potential novel pharmacological utilities," said Prof. Asaph Aharoni, Xinteza's Scientific Co-Founder and Head of the Weizmann Institute of Science Plant Metabolomics Lab and of the Institute's Plant and Environmental Sciences Department. "Moreover, this is part of a whole alternative non-Cannabaceae production system that is significantly more amenable than cannabis to genetic engineering and cellular transformation, allowing higher flexibility in critical cannabinoid biosynthesis enhancements and optimizations," added Prof. Aharoni.

About Xinteza API

Xinteza API Ltd. is engaged in the discovery and development of a wide array of new genes and ultra-novel genetic pathways for the biosynthesis of cannabinoids and psychoactive ingredients, as well as their bio-production methods. Xinteza operates through an exclusive license for both cannabinoids and psychedelics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and with the research led by Prof. Asaph Aharoni, and is diligently building an unprecedented portfolio of dozens of related IP assets and patents. Founded in 2019 and led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, Xinteza's strategic partners include industry players such as IM Cannabis (NASDAQ: IMCC, CSE: IMCC). Xinteza's goal is to revolutionize the commercial-scale synthesis of ultra-pure natural lab-made major, minor, and modified cannabinoids, and key psychedelics. It focuses on making the production of innovative APIs and AIs for high end CPG and pharma more accessible by implementing its disruptive discoveries of novel genes, genetic pathways, and molecules, by enabling the removal of bottlenecks, enhancement, and boosting natural production processes.

About Yeda

Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd. is the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Yeda currently manages approximately 500 unique patent families and has generated the highest income per researcher compared to any other academic technology transfer operation worldwide. Through the years, Yeda has contributed the commercialization of a number of groundbreaking therapies, such as Copaxone, Rebif, Tookad®, Erbitux®, Vectibix®, Protrazza®, Humira®, and recently the CAR-T cancer therapy Yescarta®.

About the Weizmann Institute of Science

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, Weizmann Institute's scientists are advancing research on the human brain, artificial intelligence, computer science and encryption, astrophysics, and particle physics, and are tackling diseases such as cancer, while also addressing climate change through environmental, ocean, and plant sciences.

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