The Midwest Bioprocessing Center Announces Phase I SBIR Funding from the NIH to Synthesize Deoxysugars

Peoria, IL (September 1, 2020) – The Midwest Bioprocessing Center (MBC), a leading producer of unique carbohydrates for human health and nutrition, announced today that it has received a $183,138 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health in support of its project entitled “Engineering Methylotrophic Yeast for in vivo Production of Deoxysugars from DHAP”.  

The goal of the project is to develop new ways to synthesize hard-to-make deoxysugars, an important class of carbohydrates useful in the discovery of new pharmaceuticals, production of nutritional products, and other applications.  For example, some deoxy-sugars are natural components of the most commercially successful antibiotics and are key in their antimicrobial activity. Unfortunately, only a small number of deoxy-sugars are commercially available.  More are needed to help develop novel antibiotics which can help treat antibiotic resistant pathogens.  The deoxy-sugar l-fucose is also a key potential building block for many antiviral drugs and in the production of Human Milk Oligosaccharides used in infant formula.

This is a very important but largely underdeveloped area of research” said Dr. Leila Aminova, the Principal Investigator on the Project and MBC’s Director of Product Development.  “The technology we are developing will allow dozens of new deoxy-sugars to be made available to researchers exploring the development of new and improved antibiotics.” 

The new deoxysugars will ultimately be available as part of the Company’s zuCarb™ rare sugar catalog and will also be used internally for the development of new pharmaceuticals and nutritional products being developed at MBC.   For more information on zuCarb™ rare sugars or partnering opportunities please visit or contact the Company at


About Midwest Bioprocessing Center, LLC.

The Midwest Bioprocessing Company is a start-up biotechnology company formed in 2019 to bring important new technologies to market for human health and nutrition.  MBC’s proprietary technology includes the zuCarb™ Rare sugar platform which allows the production and modification of carbohydrates and glycochemicals that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to make.  By expanding the number of sugar building blocks and components that are available to the marketplace—many of which are currently not available or prohibitively expensive—together with the synthetic tools to utilize these new sugars in human health and nutrition applications, the Midwest Bioprocessing Center enables both the discovery of breakthrough drugs as well as the cost-effective commercial production of many glycochemicals.  The Midwest Bioprocessing Center is located in Peoria, IL and housed in the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center. The Midwest Bioprocessing Center has facilities to carry out enzyme biocatalyisis, fermentation, chemical synthesis, and product purification; and can produce gram to kilogram scale quantities in-house. For more information please contact:

David Demirjian

801 W Main St

Peoria, IL 61606

Tel: (630) 230-0349



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