You may not have heard of OPX Biotechnologies (OPXBIO), but the Dow Chemical Co. certainly has. The chemical giant has partnered with the Boulder, CO-based biotechnology startup to work toward commercialization of a biobased precursor to acrylic acid, 3HP, using a range of sugar feedstocks.
Founded in 2007, OPXBIO's competitive advantage is centered on its Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering (EDGE) technology, which allows the company to engineer microbes with the most effective genome for producing a desired intermediate, rather than relying on the random aggregation of desired genetic mutations in the traditional approach. EDGE essentially enables OPXBIO to identify, tag, and track the specific genes responsible for performance changes in different bacteria strains to more quickly arrive at the optimal set of genes comprising the most effective microbial "factory."...