Expansion of Phenotypeca’s Yeast Biofoundry with a mission to make medicines more affordable and accessible to all that need them.

July 2021

With even more ground-breaking research projects in progress, and new staff appointments, the pioneering Yeast Biofoundry business, Phenotypeca, continues its exciting evolution by officially opening a new office and laboratory in June. For Phenotypeca, which has the world’s largest collection of yeast strains engineered for industrial recombinant protein production, comprising up to a billion genetically distinct strains, this expansion marks the next stage of their growth and development strategy. Phenotypeca’s new offices and laboratories are located in BioCity Nottingham, the former Boots R&D centre, where ibuprofen was discovered in 1961. 

New Space

Phenotypeca have taken laboratory space and an office on the sixth floor plus a Meeting Pod on the fourth floor of the Innovation Building. BioCity, founded by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in 2003, is the largest life-science incubator in the UK, supporting the growth of ambitious businesses, offering holistic support within a self-contained campus. As a pioneering company tackling the global health challenges that affect us all, Phenotypeca regards BioCity Nottingham as the perfect choice for its operational hub, alongside other like-minded start-ups, spin-outs and entrepreneurs in the life-sciences sector.

Founder and Managing Director, Keith Williams said, “It is great to have an ‘easy in’ lab and office space with all the facilities we need close to the station and City Centre. The facilities and location make it perfect for us to attract and retain the high-calibre staff needed to make Phenotypeca successful during this growth phase.”

New People

This exciting move also continues the expansion of the Phenotypeca team, with multiple new appointments strengthening the company’s technical and business expertise. Dr Darren Greetham, Dr Christian Gude and Dr Emanuele Kendrick have all joined as molecular biology experts in the new BioCity labs to work on Phenotypeca’s latest projects, and Tom Rock accompanies them with his appointment as Project Manager.

New Projects

Phenotypeca have recently completed their successful Innovate UK project on Covid-19 Rapid Response research to improve SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid antigen production from yeast for low-cost production of diagnostic kits, with further commercialisation of this technology now being explored.

Another Innovate UK SMART Project is progressing well, with a range of novel strains improved for recombinant protein production currently in fermentation scale-up at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre at the Centre for Process Innovation in Darlington About CPI | CPI (uk-cpi.com).

The highly collaborative Vax-Hub (The Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub) Project, with Oxford’s Jenner Institute and UCL’s Department of Biochemical Engineering, continues to generate exciting results making Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) for vaccine manufacture by low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Commercial project work for the high-yield manufacture of a human protein from yeast is also on track and strengthening our abilities to deliver improved production yeast for our customers, with all the benefits of microbial manufacturing.

Founder and Research Director, Chris Finnis said, “It is extremely encouraging to see the potential of yeast breeding finally come to light as a novel approach for host strain engineering. These projects strongly align with Phenotypeca’s aim of reducing manufacturing costs and building more robust and environmentally sustainable bioprocesses of the future.”