Fyodor Biotechnologies: yeast-based Artemisinin (YAT) production

Fyodor Biotechnologies

Business Description

Founded in 2008, Fyodor Biotechnologies is focused on the research, development and manufacturing of innovative diagnostic and biopharmaceutical products targeted towards global health diseases. Fyodor is a socially responsible company focused on the translation of relevant biotechnologies to diagnostic and biopharmaceutical products, designed to address critical healthcare needs in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and South America. The company’s goal is to expand the availability and affordability of rapid diagnostics and pharmaceuticals, with an initial focus on malaria.  Fyodor’s flagship product is the Urine Malaria Test—a one-step test for the at-home or point-of-need diagnosis of clinical malaria in persons with fevers.

Challenge

The drug Artemisinin is, to date, the most effective treatment against malaria and is in clinical trials for the treatment of other diseases as well. Artemisinin is extracted from plants with long growing seasons, often resulting in low crop yields, which lead to shortages and supply interruptions. Fyodor’s YAT platform technology is based on an industrial process for artemisinin synthesis, which shifts artemisinin production from plants to a more reliable and scalable, yeast-based method, and is thus able to meet and adjust to market demands.

MIPS Role

Fyodor worked with Dr. Ganesh Sriram from the University of Maryland’s department of chemical and biomolecular engineering to develop and optimize this novel, yeast-based technology to reliably produce and manufacture artemisinin. The project demonstrated that the YAT technology can produce artemisinin in yeast at least 1,000 times more efficiently and faster than the conventional plant source.

Results

Fyodor won two SBIR Phase I awards (each worth $150,000), a $476,000 SBIR Phase 2 award, and a $200,00 commercialization funding award from the Maryland Biotechnology Center. The company is located in the University of Maryland, Baltimore Biopark, having recently expanded their laboratory space.

Project Manager:  Edwin C. Agbo;  Principal Investigator:  Ganesh Sriram, UMD
Location:  Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore City;  Project Start Date:  8/1/2010

Fyodor's Chairman and CEO Dr. Eddy Agbo was a Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he worked on diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker discovery, then went on to work in industry before founding Fyodor.

Fyodor’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Eddy Agbo was a Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he worked on diagnostic and therapeutic biomarker discovery, then went on to work in industry before founding Fyodor.

Leading up to (and beyond) the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) 25th Anniversary Gala, we will frequently profile one (or more) of the 500+ companies that have utilized MIPS funding to bring innovations to market and create jobs in Maryland.

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