TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Xinteza API Ltd., announced today the discovery, in breakthrough research led by Prof. Asaph Aharoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science, of a novel sub-set of cannabinoid-glycosylation enzymes and genes, uniquely tailored by nature to promote enzymatic fusion of sugar moieties to cannabinoid molecules, thus enabling the production of true water-soluble cannabinoids. This natural modification process eliminates the need to use liposomes or other nanoparticles that may have questionable applicability or even be hazardous to health.
"These flavorless, odorless, colorless, immediately-impacting true water-soluble cannabinoids offer a cleaner, more sustainable and a higher quality alternative to the often smelly, bitter, brownish, oil-based products", said Alon Gal, Xinteza's CEO. "Moreover, our technology enables an efficient biosynthesis platform for a commercial-scale production of these active ingredients, thus unlocking the rise of the more advanced cannabinoid-based products, such as better, tastier, and more effective beverages, edibles, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals, and this is what the industry has been looking for. We can already feel the surging need and the increasing demand for this unfulfilled yet projected next generation of true water-soluble cannabinoid products and we are already engaged in collaboration discussions with partners to join forces and turn this into reality soon", added Gal.
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 signed with Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute.
"This discovery of glycosylation-related genes and enzymes is a key milestone in uncovering additional aspects of the complex metabolism associated with cannabinoids, and another leap forward in our ongoing journey of discovery of biological infrastructures, molecules, modifications, and processes associated with cannabinoids, with a vast array of potential utilization and scientific implications", 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. "Furthermore, this scientific achievement has the potential not only to disrupt the water-soluble cannabinoid market, but to advance the understanding and unveiling of much deeper mechanisms related to the biosynthesis of cannabinoids," added Prof. Aharoni.
Cannabinoids are lipophilic in nature, meaning that they dissolve in oil-based solvents but not in water. However, there is already a significantly high demand in the market for water-soluble cannabinoids to be used in the production of cannabis-infused beverages and food ingredients, and much more is projected in all the various product categories. So far, the industry has been relying mostly on nano-emulsion technologies for the production of cannabis-infused beverages, where the cannabinoids are encapsulated in liposomes or other water-soluble nanoparticles to achieve a certain level of cannabinoid solubility. Nevertheless, a growing body of evidence shows that these nano-particles may be hazardous to health, as they do not completely break down in the body and might accumulate in different tissues and organs, thus creating a health risk.
The idea of using glycosylation, meaning the process of fusing cannabinoid molecules with sugar moieties to achieve water solubility, is not new and was suggested in the past. However, the cannabis plant itself does not possess such glycosylating enzymes, and other enzymes sourced from other plants (such as rice or stevia, for example) have shown limited activity as they were not originally tailored by nature to glycosylate cannabinoid molecules.
As reported previously, Xinteza has recently unveiled discoveries for an alternative 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.
Xinteza API Ltd. is engaged in the discovery and development of a wide array of novel genes and enzymes, and innovative genetic pathways for the enhancement of the biosynthesis of cannabinoids and psychoactive ingredients, and their whole bio-production. Xinteza operates under 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 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 aims to revolutionize the commercial-scale synthesis of ultra-pure natural lab-made major, minor, and modified cannabinoids, and a group of 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, efficiency enhancement, and boosting natural production processes.
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®.
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.