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Synthetic Genomics, Archer Daniels Midland to Commercialize Omega-3 from Algae

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Synthetic Genomics and Archer Daniels Midland today announced a deal to commercialize Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from algae.

Typically found in fish and seafood products, DHA has been studied for the role it plays in brain, heart, and eye health. Extracting DHA directly from algae grown in fermentation tanks yields a "highly purified" form of DHA, which can be used as a dietary supplement for humans and in animal feed, the partners said.

Under the terms of the agreement, ADM's Foods & Wellness and Animal Nutrition groups will produce and market Omega-3 DHA. Synthetic Genomics will carry out its work through its Genovia Bio business unit, which produces algal bio-based food, chemical, and fuel products.

Financial and other terms of the long-term deal were not disclosed.

Synthetic Genomics Founder and CEO Craig Venter said in a statement that the deal is "a major accomplishment for [the company] as it represents commercial validation of our science and technology."

ADM Animal Nutrition President Brent Fenton added that the partnership "will prove beneficial for both companies by capitalizing on the strengths of [Synthetic Genomics'] technologies and know-how, while using ADM's significant scale and production capabilities to commercialize important products demanded by our customers."

Today's agreement follows an announcement earlier this month from Synthetic Genomics of a collaboration with Lung Biotechnology to develop humanized pig organs for transplantation into human patients.