Reinach, Switzerland,– Evolva Holding SA (SIX: EVE), which is developing novel medicines and nutritional ingredients through synthetic biology, announced today that Jay Keasling, PhD and Doug Cameron, PhD, both leading experts in the field of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, have joined the Evolva Scientific Advisory Board.
Keasling is cofounder of a number of startups in this space, including Amyris (NASDAQ: AMRS), one of the most recognised names in commercial synthetic biology. He is a professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering, Senior Faculty Scientist and Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Chief Executive Office of the Joint BioEnergy Institute. The Keasling group is perhaps best known for its contributions to the development of a synthetic biology technique for producing the antimalaria treatment artemisinin in yeast1) — at a fraction of the cost of plantation derived artemisinin.
Keasling and his team at UCBerkeley are global experts in the biosynthesis of a class of molecules known as isoprenoids, the same class of molecules that are the primary focus of Evolva’s R&D activities. The product applications of these molecules include pharmaceutical compounds, flavorants and fragrances.
“It is a real honour to join such a talented and esteemed group of scientists,” Keasling said. “I am particularly excited to be part of a group that is at the forefront of efforts to apply synthetic biology/metabolic engineering to the development of novel medicines and next generation nutritional ingredients.”
Doug Cameron, founder and managing director of the Minneapolis, Minnesota based consultancy Alberti Advisors, is the former head of biotechnology at Cargill. He was the Managing Director Chief Scientific Advisor at Piper Jaffray and Chief Scientific Officer at Khosla Ventures. Prior to his industry roles, he was a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Cameron said, “I very much look forward to working with Jay and the rest of the highly skilled team on the Evolva Scientific Advisory Board to assist in their efforts to apply synthetic biology to advance a pipeline of next generation foods and nutritional ingredients, the likes of which the world has never seen.”
Evolva Biotech CEO in India Dr. P. M. Murali on behalf of the management commented: “Jay Keasling and Doug Cameron are highly respected scientists and industry leaders whose knowledge, experience, and network will be hugely valuable to both Evolva’s R&D and partnering efforts. We are thrilled to add scientists of this calibre to our Scientific Advisory Board.”
1) Nature. 2006 Apr 13;440(7086):9403. Production of the antimalarial drug precursor artemisinic acid in engineered yeast .
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