Exclusive Interview with Demetrix CEO Jeff Ubersax, PhD
Biotechnology organizations are challenging at operate getting methods to commercialize biosynthetic cannabinoids, and amongst these organizations is Demetrix. CEO Jeff Ubersax told New Cannabis Ventures how he sees his company’s mixture of funding, group knowledge and strong IP will assist it carve out a space in the cannabis biosynthesis sector. The audio of the complete conversation is obtainable at the finish of this written summary.
Ubersax earned his PhD in biochemistry and yeast genetics from UC San Francisco and then spent time at Stanford functioning on an interface in between biology, automation, and computing. Through his time there, he met Jay Keasling, PhD, one particular of the founders of Demetrix. They discovered they had a shared interest in applying science to make the globe a improved spot.
Constructing an Seasoned Group
Demetrix has a group of much more than 30 men and women, and Ubersax expects it to develop steadily more than the subsequent couple of years. Suitable now, the organization is heavily focused on R&D. It has group members with comprehensive knowledge in taking molecules from notion all the way to manufacturing. As Demetrix grows, it will want a group capable of scaling up yeast fermentation from a laboratory procedure to substantial, industrial production, according to Ubersax. The organization also has group members nicely-versed in operating in a hugely regulated marketplace.
In addition to Ubersax, the company’s executive group involves President and Chief Details Officer Darren Platt, PhD, and Chief Small business Officer Cynthia Bryant. Each Platt and Bryant have much more than two decades of knowledge in the biotechnology market.
Co-Founders Keasling and William Haseltine, a 30-plus-year veteran of the biopharma market, sit on the board of directors.
Suitable now, Demetrix is focused on the science of cannabinoids. How do they operate? But, the organization is pretty conscious of the multitude of marketplace possibilities waiting for the organizations that get the science ideal: nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, meals, beverage, overall health, beauty, and much more.
Demetrix has interacted with a quantity of distinct organizations in these categories, and it is in the procedure of figuring out how to ideal structure these varieties of partnerships, according to Ubersax,
Operating with UC Berkeley
Whilst these varieties of partnerships have however to solidify, Demetrix has currently announced an agreement with UC Berkeley. In 2016 at the Keasling Lab at UC Berkeley, Keasling started projects that demonstrated yeast as a commercially viable host for making cannabinoids. Discussions about a licensing agreement started when intellectual house was filed and Demetrix was founded. Now, the organization has an exclusive licensing agreement with UC Berkeley for some of the IP created in the Keasling Lab.
That analysis coming out of Keasling Lab has offered Demetrix early access to IP. The organization has found a quantity of challenges that want to be solved to make cannabinoid biosynthesis operate, and Ubersax sees Demetrix as ahead of quite a few of its competitors in this regard.
Although this may perhaps give the organization a leg up when it comes to commercializing, there is lots of space for biosynthesis organizations to be profitable, according to Ubersax. The higher purity and consistency of biosynthetic cannabinoids will open the door to a quantity of possibilities.
As for how cannabinoid biosynthesis will transform the cannabis enterprise as it ramps up, Ubersax views it as a complement to agriculture, rather than a replacement. The marketplace has space for each plant-derived and biotechnology-derived solutions. He sees worth in pursuing some of the rarer cannabinoids that are complicated to get from the plant.
Series A and Future Funding
This summer season, Demetrix completed a $50 million Series A, which will be a major assist as the organization moves toward its commercialization phase and becoming lucrative.
Demetrix does not have an instant want for much more capital, but the future will probably hold much more possibilities. As a venture-backed organization, plans to create an exit for investors are in the future–whether via an acquisition or going public, according to Ubersax.
The Road to Commercialization
Demetrix does not have a concrete timeline for commercialization. It is functioning diligently to have all of the pieces in spot, which includes a yeast strain, a manufacturing procedure and facility, and industrial agreements.
As the organization goes via this procedure, it is cognizant of the regulatory framework in which it operates. Demetrix desires to operate with regulatory agencies, like the FDA, to demonstrate security, efficacy, and consistency.
To discover much more, check out the Demetrix web site. Listen to the complete interview: