Purissima is Securing Microalgal Cannabinoid Biosynthesis

Biosynthesis of cannabinoids has been a focal point of the cannabis industry the last 5 years. Leaders like Teewinot Life Sciences and CB Therapeutics emerged with scalable platforms for the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) including the much sought after and now legal cannabidiol (CBD). The space is eager for acquisitions, having already made two notable acquisitions involving Librede and Teewinot Life Sciences. These companies have focused their genetic engineering technologies on bacteria and fungi such as yeast and E. coli, leaving an opening for Purissima.

Purissima is synthesizing APIs through bio-engineered microalgae, harnessing the power of natural metabolic processes as the petroleum industry has and is currently still doing. As of September 2021, Purissima has been issued one patent which has 5 pending continuation patent applications, two of which are still unpublished. Patent ‘066 limits the synthesis of cannabinoids to microalgae in the genus Prototheca, a parasitic species of green algae having forfeited its photosynthetic ability. Relieving the requirement of lighting, which can be costly and generate more emissions, is an advantage of using this non-photosynthetic species of microalgae. Cannabinoids aren’t the only interest of Purissima’s, as it has also set focus on at-risk tropical species of plants with valuable therapeutic molecules. Purissima secured funding in January 2021 from AgFunder who sees the great potential and importance of the technology in keeping up with the demands of a growing world and diminishing land space. Additionally, Purissima is a resident company of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, a life science innovation center providing an environment for companies to pursue new technologies and research. As Purissima continues to grow its portfolio, I’m sure pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson are keeping their eyes on them for potential acquisition. 

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