Cellulac to Acquire Patent Portfolio and Industrial Biochemical Equipment from Pursuit Dynamics PLC

Cellulac to Acquire Patent Portfolio and Industrial Biochemical Equipment from Pursuit Dynamics PLC

Cellulac to Acquire PDX Patent Portfolio and Biochemical Equipment Technology


Cellulac Limited, the industrial biochemicals company, announces the acquisition of Pursuit Marine Drive Limited, a subsidiary of Pursuit Dynamics PLC, subject to shareholder approval. The acquisition includes certain intellectual property rights, test equipment and commercial installations of industrial biochemical equipment in a number of US ethanol production plants. A separate agreement for the transfer of two EU FP7 projects in Biofuels and Algae has also been concluded.

Gerard Brandon, CEO of Cellulac, commented;


The acquisition of this portfolio of patents bolsters our business in a number of areas. It strengthens our IP around the pre-treatment of lignocellulose, a sustainable raw material used in second generation bio-production processes, for certain established specialty chemicals. When combined with Cellulac’s already strong expertise in enzyme and culture technology it increases the total soluble sugar yield and significantly reduces our production cost of sugars. It provides access to methods of lowering energy consumption by up to 50% for the production of lactate-specialty chemicals. Net, this IP allows Cellulac to realise a major breakthrough reduction in the commercial production cost of bio-lactates with fully–validated and operational commercial scale reactors.


We are now in a position to install industrial size reactors and commence large scale production of bio-lactates from lignocellulosic materials at our own plant. Furthermore it provides a fast-track solution to low cost sugar extraction for our existing customer base and joint venture partners who wish to access a variety of second generation bio-chemicals with significant down-stream commercial value.

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Consortium of Irish Biomedical companies in €3m joint venture to deliver biodegradable implants from 2nd generation biochemicals.

Consortium of Irish Biomedical companies in €3m joint venture to deliver biodegradable implants from 2nd generation biochemicals.

Consortium in Joint Venture Development of Biomedical Implants


Three Irish biomedical companies Cellulac Limited, Venn Life Sciences Holdings Plc (“Venn”) (AIM: VENN) and Bipharmed West Limited today are pleased to announce a joint venture to pursue the development of biodegradable human implants.
This consortium brings together complementary expertise and skills that are essential to commercialize this programme:


  • Cellulac Limited is currently working on a major EU project involving biobased chemicals from lignocellulose and alga to functional biobased and biomedical applications and will provide the scientific laboratories, production and clean room infrastructure, quality controls along with access to their portfolio of patents in the production of biodegradable Polylactic Acid (“PLA”). Partners in this project include Fraunhofer Institute, Nova Institute, and Wageningen University.
  • Venn Life Sciences is a growing Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) providing clinical trial management and resourcing solutions to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device clients.
  • Biopharmed West Limited will contribute institutional, commercial know-how and management of distribution channels.


First sustainable raw material to biodegradable medical device



The joint venture provides a complement of expertise beginning at traceability and processing of raw materials to finished medical grade PolyLactic Acid, a precursor to biodegradable human implants, covering product design, product development through to clinical trials and approvals for implanted medical devices in the operating theatre. The first naturally sustainable raw material source to the medical device industry through the implementation of 2nd generation bio-chemical production methods. These biodegradable medical devices will be used for products ranging from internal sutures to orthopaedic bone regeneration implants providing a clean technological solution for the replacing of titanium.


Gerard Brandon (CEO of Cellulac) commented
“This joint venture adds significantly to our high value biochemical production strategy and exploits management’s historical success in the medical device sector, dovetailing external expertise and experienced distribution channels. As part of the large scale production of biochemicals at our state of the art site, we will incorporate a biomedical division, Cellulac Bio-Med.”


Tony Richardson (CEO of Venn) commented:
“This joint venture instantly provides access to medical device technologies that fit well within our strategic vision. It extends our core CRO business into the value added innovation business unit of our clients. It also leverages the skills of the consortium members who will work together to accelerate all stages of the development process through to the finished product, including FDA and EU regulatory approval cycles.”


JP Prendergast (Managing Director of Biopharmed West Ltd.) commented:
“This joint venture de-risks our development cycle and provides an opportunity to bring products to market 24 months ahead of our expectations. It provides us unique access to quality control, production, development and clinical trial expertise covering both the EU and US, and complements our commercialisation capabilities as we sell into our distribution partners.”


Notes to Editors




Cellulac converts lignocellulosic materials, such as wheat straw, spent brewery grains from beer production, dried distilled grains from ethanol production into high value, bio-chemicals, like Lactic Acid, PolyLactic Acid, Ethyl Lactate and Sodium Lactate.


Cellulac’s portfolio of 31 patents provides an end to end second and third generation solution for biochemical and biomedical production processes delivering low carbon, energy efficient, production costs for biodegradable polylactic acid (“PLA”).


Venn Life Sciences


Venn Life Sciences is a Clinical Research Organisation (“CRO”) providing a suite of clinical trial management services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device organisations. With operations in France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Russia, the UK, and a branch office in Switzerland, the Venn Group also includes a Clinical Resourcing business placing experienced clinical teams and individuals on projects throughout Europe. The Company’s near term objective is the expansion of its coverage to other European countries through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, offering clients a full service, multi-centred capability in Phase II-IV trials and across a range of principal disease areas.


Biopharmed West Limited


Biopharmed West Ltd. focuses on medical device contract design and production under an Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) business model. Having established significant core competencies in antimicrobial coating of substrates the focus is now on developing of new biodegradable polymers for the biomedical and medical device markets.

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Irish Start-up Cellulac wins €2.8M from EU Commission for Biorefining Project.

Irish Start-up Cellulac wins €2.8M from EU Commission for Biorefining Project.

Irish Start-Up Secures 2.8 million Euro from EU Commission

EU grant to Cellulac indicates the high-commercial potential of their product – Sherlock


Galway based Greentech company, Cellulac, has received a grant for a record €2.8m from the European Commission to commercialize its biorefining technology that converts agricultural waste into lactic acid. Cellulac is a high-potential start-up client of Enterprise Ireland which supported the company in its bid for this significant grant. Lactic acid is used in food and beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, biodegradable plastics and other industrial sectors. It is a growing €4Bn pa market and is expanding at a rate of 19% per year.


Ramp Up Production


The EU grant approval will be used to ramp up mass production capability.


Cellulac will create 14 high-quality jobs and will be recruiting graduates from the life sciences and engineering sectors to grow its research base in Ireland.


Congratulating Cellulac on its win, Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation said;


“The size of the EU Commission grant for the Cellulac project indicates the high-commercial potential of the finished product – Lactic acid and the importance of biorefining as a future growth industry. I am delighted to see one of Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up clients make such a strong impression in this EU initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap between research and the market. Both the Irish Government and the EU Commission are encouraging SMEs to convert good ideas for innovative products, services and processes that protect the environment into fully-fledged commercial prospects so I am particularly encouraged by Cellulacs’ success”.


Speaking about the EU grant approval Fin Murray, Cellulac CEO said;


“This win and our confidence that Cellulac will be filling key R&D roles locally is a testament to the investment poured into the development of the life sciences and green tech sectors over the last number of years. GMIT, NUI Galway and the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy supported by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, will prove to be key supports for greentech companies like ours”.


Enterprise Ireland’s CIP Eco-innovation National Contact Point Mark Sweeney said


“We are delighted with this success for an Irish company under the CIP Eco-innovation Programme. The 2012 call is open soon and we are actively looking for companies with innovative products and processes that reduce environmental impacts”.


Any interested companies should contact mark.sweeney@enterprise-ireland.com for more information.




Editors Notes


About Cellulac


Cellulac is an Enterprise Ireland supported startup specializing in research on the use of biomass as an alternative to petroleum and feedstocks in the production of lactic acid. In 2010, the company successfully produced 1 tonne of high-quality acid from wheat straw at an industrial plant in Germany. Patents were filed and continue to be filed for this technology in key territories around the world. In 2012 the EU approved a grant of €2.8m for the further development and commercialization of the technology.


EU Commission


The grant falls under the EU Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme’s, Eco-Innovation initiative (CIP Eco-innovation) – First Application and Market Replication Projects and is managed by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation in cooperation with DG Environment.


Lactic Acid


The Food & Beverages Industry constitutes a major market, driving growth. It is also a key ingredient in the Pharma, Chemical, and Medical sectors. It is used as a key ingredient in pharmaceutical products such as intravenous solutions, moisturizers, shampoos, anti-aging skin creams, and soaps. Food additives constitute a large application area for lactic acid globally. Biodegradable plastics represents the fastest growing end-use application for lactic acid.


In China as well as other Asian countries demand is outstripping supply. The United States represents the largest region for lactic acid worldwide. Growth-wise, Europe is projected to be the fastest growing regional market


With demand for lactic acid-based biopolymers expanding at the cost of conventional polymers on counts of environmental friendliness, easy recyclability and cost-effectiveness, the emergence of new lucrative opportunities are portended for lactic acid consumption in the coming years.


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