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Evonik Developing Animal-Free/Fermentation-Based Collagen

Evonik is developing a collagen platform that is made via fermentation-based processes and devoid of animal- or human-derived materials. The recombinant technology will, for the first time, provide a highly soluble, ultra-pure form of collagen that is safe, sustainable and commercially scalable.

The platform features a triple helix structure and other biological properties that mimic many attributes of natural collagen so it can reliably interact with cells and tissues and be readily absorbed or remodeled by the body.

Product application areas include orthopedics, cardiovascular, wound care, ocular care, general surgery, dental care, drug delivery and regenerative medicine.

Virtually all medical and pharmaceutical-grade collagen used today is derived from animal-based sources, which can be associated with batch-to-batch variability, potential transmission of diseases or pathogens, adverse immunogenic or allergic reactions and non-sustainable sourcing methods. Evonik's collagen is produced under controlled conditions via a fermentation-based process, delivering an ultra-high level of purity that is easily reproducible at any commercial scale.

Evonik will utilize its established fermentation process technologies and global manufacturing network to commercialize the platform for worldwide use. The company's application, formulation and manufacturing competencies will help customers develop and commercialize their own biofabricated products.

"This is arguably our biggest innovation breakthrough in recent years: a fermentation-based collagen platform that can effectively substitute the use of animal-derived collagen in pharmaceutical, medical, and cell culture markets," said Dr. Thomas Riermeier, SVP and General Manager for the Health Care business line of Evonik. "We look forward to working with customers to develop the next-generation collagen products with an improved safety profile."