Press releases

Xylome Corporation awarded U.S. Department of Agriculture Phase I SBIR grant

Madison, Wisconsin – June 1, 2017

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Xylome Corporation $100,000 for a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to develop a Novel process for omega-3 oil production from agricultural byproducts. The grant, which started on June 1, 2017, focuses on metabolic engineering a yeast to produce omega-3 fatty acids for aquaculture.

Xylome Corporation awarded an SBIR Advance Award from Wisconsin for commercial and business development

Madison, Wisconsin – March 1, 2017

The Wisconsin SBIR Advance program awarded Xylome $75,000 for commercial and business development activities within Wisconsin. This grant has enabled Xylome to attend two trade shows that brought in major customer leads. It has also supported customer research that led to a new prospective product line.

Xylome awarded NSF Phase II SBIR grant

Xylome News Release, Madison, Wisconsin – Sept 20, 2016

Xylome Corporation was awarded $750,000 to develop a “Novel bioprocess for lipid production from industrial byproducts”. The two-year grant for $750,000, which started on October 1, 2016, will run through September 30, 2018.

The purpose of this Phase II project is to produce economically the next generation of sustainable, renewable, clean burning, high energy density, transportation biofuels. The proposed technology once successfully developed will enable existing biofuel producers to reduce their costs while increasing the value and diversity of their byproducts. It will convert their industrial waste products into tailored fatty acids suitable for biodiesel.

Xylome Corporation awarded National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant

Innovative research designed to lower the cost of lignocellulosic biodiesel
Madison, Wisconsin – July 1, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Xylome Corporation $150,000 for a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to develop a Novel process for lipid production from industrial byproducts. The grant, which starts on July 1, 2015, will focus on metabolic engineering a yeast to produce fatty acids for biodiesel production.

The successful completion of this project will facilitate conversion of existing biofuel and biomass byproduct streams into useful commercial fatty acids while reducing processing costs. In the longer term, the technology could enhance production of higher value second-generation biofuels. Xylome’s proposed technology could produce approximately 1.2 million gallons of biodiesel/yr. worth about $4 million from the byproducts of a single 70 million gallon ethanol plant. Beyond sugars from byproduct streams of existing ethanol plants, Xylome’s technology platform could facilitate fatty acid production from cellulosic and hemicellulosic sugars serving as a feedstock for cellulosic biofuel production.

The first objective of this Phase I research project is to enable lipid production during growth. The second will be to relieve biological constraints. The project will alter regulation of genes that limit production and introduce pathways that expand capacity. Yeasts, and fungi synthesize lipid when given excess carbon and limiting nitrogen, but low levels of lipid synthesis occurs during cell growth. Normally lipid only accumulates in cellular vacuoles after cell division has stopped. This requires extended cultivation times, and the amount of lipid that can be formed is constrained by the cell volume. The proposed approach will overexpress the enzymes for lipid synthesis so that the engineered cells will produce oil during growth while maintaining high levels of metabolic activity. New pathways will be introduced along with processes that will enable continuous lipid recovery. These modifications should enable a) lipid production in continuous high-density culture, thereby overcoming inherent low rates of lipid synthesis, and b) continuous separation of lipid, thereby alleviating the need for cell harvest, rupture and extraction. Xylome plans to increase its staffing to take on the new NSF-sponsored project.

Xylome Corporation opens new research facility in UW Research Park

Move adds space, equipment, meeting rooms and support
Madison, Wisconsin – April 1, 2015

Xylome Corporation expanded its research space and acquired new equipment and facilities for microbiological and molecular biology research in its move to the University of Wisconsin Research Park. The addition of chemical and P-2 biocontainment hoods along with HPLC, additional incubator and shaker space, the MGE Innovation Center in UW Research Park provides substantial support with meeting rooms, high speed internet and the opportunity to interact with many other biotechnology companies.

Xylome Corp. signs licensing and equity agreements with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Technology package covers unconventional yeasts for the production of biofuel, renewable chemicals

MADISON, Wis. – Xylome Corporation has reached a deal with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) that gives Xylome the right to develop and market unconventional yeasts for the production of biofuels and renewable chemicals from cellulosic and hemicellulosic feedstocks.

The licensing agreement covers several technologies, including: the genetic transformation of widely studied native xylose- and cellobiose-fermenting yeasts; highly effective sugar transporters; and mutations in key genes that enhance xylose metabolism. Also covered are metabolically engineered yeasts for the synthesis of ethanol and other products, and cultivation conditions that enable co-fermentation of glucose along with xylose and cellulosic sugars.

The vast majority of yeast metabolic engineering efforts are aimed at conventional brewing and bread-making yeasts, however, conventional yeasts do not use all the cellulosic and hemicellulosic sugars found in biomass, so they must be genetically modified. To get around this problem, Xylome has developed naturally occurring, non-GMO yeasts that natively ferment the sugars from cellulosic feedstocks.

At the same time, Xylome’s technology enables genetic modification of these non-conventional yeasts to synthesize novel products. By targeting non-conventional yeasts that use a wider range of low-cost feedstocks Xylome can start from yeast platforms that have higher native capacities for product formation. Therefore, Xylome’s non-GMO yeasts can be used to convert cellulosic sugars into biofuels and can be genetically modified for synthetic biology applications as well.

“These technologies, along with Xylome’s accumulated know-how and proprietary platform strains, constitute a solid foundation for commercial development of unconventional yeast technologies,” says Thomas Jeffries, president of Xylome Corp.

“The genetic and processing technologies covered under these agreements have already proven their worth in laboratory and pilot trials,” says Jeffries. “Xylome expects to conduct commercial trials, production and ongoing development for target markets in the U.S. and abroad. The strong native fermentation capacities of our non-GMO platform strains along with effective, flexible genetic tools create a very powerful combination.”

Xylome is currently working with several companies to evaluate low-cost feedstocks from cellulosic and other sources. Technology covered under the current agreement was developed in conjunction with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).