Chr. Hansen has taken an important step in its strategic venture into new generations of probiotic products and therapeutic microbes. Through the creation of a new research and development consortium and the securing of strain access and commercialization rights, the company will strengthen its capabilities and gain access to renowned bio-banks of human gut bacteria.
Cees de Jong, CEO, Chr. Hansen, says: “Chr. Hansen has been a world leader in fermentation technology for 140 years and we have one of the industry’s strongest technological platforms for the production of microbes. We are now using this platform to expand into new generations of microbial solutions for human health, and with these agreements in place, we can strengthen our strategic research efforts and accelerate product development.”
New research and development consortium
In the consortium, led and financed by Chr. Hansen, the company partners with three academic institutions, all among the leaders in the field of anaerobic bacteria and host-microbe interactions: The University of Aberdeen (UK), the University of Groningen (NL) and the University of Wageningen (NL). The consortium will operate a research program, aimed at exploiting the human microbiome and developing bacterial products that can improve human health, for example in the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal and metabolic diseases.
Johan van Hylckama Vlieg, Senior Director of Chr. Hansen’s Microbiome Innovation, says: “This partnership will accelerate our development of a new growth platform for the company and help us strengthen key competences within the production of this special type of bacteria“.
One of the lead investigators, Professor Dr. Harry Flint, University of Aberdeen, says: : “The bio-banks of anaerobic bacteria that we will advance in this project, already cover 500 strains, some ranking among the best documented in the field. These strains will be subjected to a deep analysis of their health functional activities and their potential for production and formulation.”
Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.