Partnering opportunity

Improved strains for production of tacrolimus and analog compounds using genetic engineering tools and omics data


A Spanish biotechnological institute offers their experience and knowledge on the molecular microbiology of the producer tacrolimus (FK506) strain, streptomyces tsukubaensis for the development of improved high-producing derivative strains. Pharma industries are sought for services agreement. Academic partners interested in research cooperation agreement are also sought.

Partner sought

The biotechnology institute is looking for pharma companies interested in increasing the production of their own strains, or companies starting new production of tacrolimus or related drugs in order to collaborate by a service agreement. Also academic partners interested in a cooperation research agreement, related with the technique previously described, are welcome.


The organization is a Spanish biotechnological private non-profit research institute, founded in 1993, whose main activities are related to molecular biology and microbial biotechnology. The institution keeps close links with industrial research and innovation. The team covers several techniques and counts with a long experience in scientific research in European funded projects. Industrial production of tacrolimus and related drugs is hampered by the low production of the wild-type producer strain, Streptomyces tsukubaensis. However, with systems biology and synthetic biology principles it is possible to increase the production levels. The institute’s research group of molecular microbiology of streptomyces tsukubaensis is seeking pharma companies or academic partners to provide services agreement or to form collaborative research projects in order to achieve research cooperation agreements. For this propose, the group would provide expertise and knowledge in the techniques: a) microbial culture techniques, including fermentation cultures for production of secondary metabolites and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based quantification of products; b) gene cloning and genetic engineering techniques, c) transcriptional regulation studies, including electrophoretic-mobility shift assays, footprinting assays, and bioinformatics of binding sites; d) transcriptomic analyses (real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), microarray and ribonucleic acid sequencing (RNA-seq)); e) 2-D proteomics and mass spectrometry, f) bioinformatics, including genome sequencing. Pharmaceutical companies interested in increasing the production of their own strains, or companies that want to include new production lines, can benefit from this technology. Academic partners interested in collaborating on research projects are also welcome.

Advantages and innovations

After the participation in several industrial biotechnology European projects, the institute has accumulated not only knowledge in genetic engineering tools and techniques, but also transcriptomics and proteomics results that would be the base for the production improvement of tacrolimus and other structure-related drugs. Streptomyces tsukubaensis is one of the species more difficult to be genetically modified. The institute’s molecular microbiology research group counts with proven plasmids and techniques to achieve this porpoise. The institute research experience and knowledge cover: - cultivation and handling of this particular strain. - techniques and tools for genetic engineering and genomic. - transcriptomics and proteomics data.

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Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

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