UCL Engineering


UCL and Biocatalysts Ltd work together to access cutting-edge bioprocessing technology

Global biotech company Biocatalysts Ltd has partnered with UCL to tap into technology that significantly streamlines their processes.

Person using a device to develop enzymes

4 March 2022

Biocatalysts manufactures off-the-shelf and specialty enzymes for top food, flavour and pharmaceutical companies. Using new technology developed by UCL researchers, they’ve been able to speed up the development of their enzymes, leading to significant cost and energy savings.

The project has been run as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with UCL’s Department of Biochemical Engineering.

“The Ultra Scale-Down (USD) kompAs device we’ve developed at UCL allows us to mimic the forces that enzymes are exposed to in large-scale operations, using just millilitres of materials,” explains UCL Lecturer in Bioseparations Dr Andrea Rayat, the academic advisor on the KTP.

The technology has enabled Biocatalysts to develop new enzymes that result in milder, less energy-intensive manufacturing processes for their customers. They’re now looking to double their manufacturing capacity for a second time, as a result of the efficiencies achieved using this new tool.

“The project proved extremely successful and had an immediate influence on our internal process scale-up methodologies,” explains Craig Galeozzie, Biocatalysts’ Director of Operations. “It’s been very rewarding for all involved, once again proving how true academic research can influence and benefit modern industry.”

The significant progress achieved on the KTP has led to UCL and Biocatalysts being recognised in the IChemE Global Awards 2020. They’ve also been selected as finalists in the Engineering Excellence category of the KTP Awards, Best of the Best 2021.

The KTP between UCL and Biocatalysts has been supported by UCL Innovation & Enterprise, who helped with applying for funding, setting up the partnership, and the administrative aspects.

Read the full story on the UCL Innovation & Enterprise website


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Photo © Biocatalysts Ltd