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Ganja Without Growing: Xinteza Unveils Advance in Cannabinoid Biosynthesis

Non-cannabis plant biosynthesis systems have the potential to achieve higher yields, better consistency, purity and cost effectiveness.




Biosynthesis technology company Xinteza of Tel Aviv, Israel uses biosynthesis technology to produce lab-made minor and modified cannabinoids, and the most sought-after psychoactive ingredients — without plants. PHOTO GCT

While cannabis cultivators look to time-honored plant breeding techniques to yield desired properties, cannabinoid biosynthesis in the laboratory has the potential to achieve higher yields, better consistency, purity and cost effectiveness — without plants.

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Xinteza, a biosynthesis technology company working with cannabinoids, announced a discovery of a novel, non-cannabis plant-derived production system which is capable of highly efficient end-to-end cannabinoid synthesis.

Xinteza’s goal is to produce natural lab-made minor and modified cannabinoids, and the most sought-after psychoactive ingredients.  The company’s technology is licensed through Yeda, the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science — one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions.

Revolution in the fields

Biosynthesis technologies have the potential to revolutionize cultivation-and-extraction-based production of cannabinoid compounds for CPG and pharma. However, the development processes has been slowed down and challenged by several enzymatic and genetic modification-related bottlenecks arising from the introduction of cannabis genes into microorganism-based fermentation systems.

The discovery by Xinteza’s system has the potential to solve and mitigate some of these problems by initiating a proprietary toolkit of genes and enzymatic machinery.

Prof. Asaph Aharoni, Head of Plant Metabolomics Lab and head Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Weizmann Institute of Science


Unlike Cannabis Sativa, which only produces cannabinoids in its female flowering parts, the novel expression system contains cannabinoid enzymatic machinery throughout its entire botanical tissue mass, and thus has the potential to yield a higher active-ingredient-to-biomass ratio than cannabis plants.

“This discovery is a major milestone in the path to uncover and exploit rare and new cannabinoid molecules with potentially novel pharmacological activities,” said Prof. Asaph Aharoni, Xinteza’s scientific co-founder and head of the Weizmann Institute of Science Plant Metabolomics Lab and of the institute’s Plant and Environmental Sciences Department. “Moreover, this alternative non-Cannabaceae production system is significantly more amenable than cannabis to genetic engineering and cellular transformation, allowing greater flexibility in a range of biosynthesis enhancement and optimization processes.”




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