Midwest Bioprocessing Center Receives NIH Phase II SBIR Award for New Methods to Produce Important Deoxysugars

Peoria, IL (December 19, 2023) – The Midwest Bioprocessing Center (MBC), a leading producer of biobased chemicals for human health, nutrition, and personal care announced that it has been awarded a $1.8MM grant from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Production of Natural Deoxysugars for Use in Chemical Synthesis of G Glycosides”.

The technology being developed will allow the company to produce important deoxysugars for pharmaceutical drug discovery applications. These specialized sugars are often important structural components of bioactive natural products, such as antibiotics and anticancer therapeutics.  Although they are of increasing interest to drug discovery researchers who want to test the effect of altering sugar substituents on the therapeutics that they are developing, deoxysugars are often difficult or impossible to synthesize using current chemical technologies.

“In the Phase I research we successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using our synthetic biology approach to make an important deoxysugar,” said Dr. Robert Turner, Principal Investigator on the Project. “In Phase II we will broaden this approach to make over a dozen of these important molecules to help enable drug discovery efforts at biotech and pharmaceutical companies.”

The company plans on selling the resulting deoxysugars as part of its zuCarb™ line of rare and modified sugars for research applications.  In addition to selling products from its growing catalog, MBC also synthesizes custom chemicals and carries out collaborative research using its proprietary technology platform.

Visit the company’s website at mwbioprocessing.com to learn about the Midwest Bioprocessing Center or its zuCarb™ line of rare sugars (mwbioprocessing.com/zuCarb).  Inquiries can be sent to products@mwbioprocessing.com.

About the Midwest Bioprocessing Center, LLC.

The Midwest Bioprocessing Center is a start-up biotechnology company formed in 2019 to bring important new bio-based technologies to market for human health nutrition, and personal care.  The Midwest Bioprocessing Center has facilities to carry out enzyme biocatalysis, fermentation, chemical synthesis, and product purification for its own use and on behalf of its clients.  MBC’s proprietary brands include the zuCarb™ Rare sugar platform, the ThermoCat™ stable biocatalysts, and the iActive FeruliShield™ Feruloyl Glycerides for Personal Care.  The company’s proprietary enzyme and fermentation technology platform allows production and modification of carbohydrates, glycochemicals, and lipids that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to make.  The Midwest Bioprocessing Center is located in Peoria, IL and housed in the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center.  For more information please contact:


801 W Main St

Peoria, IL 61606

Tel: (630) 230-0349

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