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New paper demonstrates most advanced example of engineering integrated systems for biosynthesis

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A new paper published today in the journal Nature describes the first successful microbial biosynthesis of the tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine, a class of neuromuscular blockers naturally found in plants in the nightshade family. Describing a first-in-class fermentation-based approach for producing complex molecules, the paper lays the foundation for a controlled, flexible, cell-based manufacturing platform for essential medicines that currently rely on crop farming. The research was led by Dr. Christina Smolke, professor of bioengineering at Stanford University and CEO and co-founder of Antheia, a synthetic biology company making next-generation plant-inspired medicines.

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