KnipBio recently announced that its patent, "Methylotrophs for Aquaculture & Animal Feed," has been approved for grant by the European Patent Office.
The patent offers broad-based protection for the company’s intellectual property rights in the use of methylotrophic bacteria to produce single-cell proteins for animal feeds, the company's announcement said.
“For the past five years, we have been developing our PROTEIN plus product platform around the technology covered by this patent and are gratified that the patent office recognizes the uniqueness and importance of this work," KnipBio chief executive officer Larry Feinberg said.
"Single-cell protein made from methylotrophs offer an outstanding option for meeting the protein needs of the aquaculture industry in the coming decades. The manufacturing process is highly scalable, and the single-cell protein produced is traceable, an increasingly important benefit for the industry,” Feinberg added.
Methylotrophs, like Methylobacterium extorquens, are highly valuable microbes for the production of feed ingredients and as a source of protein, KnipBio said. Beyond their ability to create single-cell proteins with an amino acid profile similar to fish meal, methylotrophs are naturally able to express functional molecules such as the prebiotic polyhydroxybutyrate and carotenoids that offer important benefits in aquaculture feed diets, the company added. For example, astaxanthin is the carotenoid that gives crustaceans and salmon their distinctive pink-to-red coloring.
“The technology development and patent protection process started several years ago, and we are pleased to have achieved these results," Feinberg said. "This award, coupled with our [generally recognized as safe] designation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration earlier this year, validates the emergence of viable alternative proteins to serve animal nutrition industries, including alternative proteins for aquaculture."
KnipBio is a biotechnology company based in Lowell, Mass., that is developing sustainable commercial feed solutions for the aquaculture industry.