Where we come from

The birth of Protein engineering

 

Enzymes are nature’s way of catalyzing chemical reactions. Directed evolution is a collection of protocols through which natural enzymes are evolved in the laboratory towards non-natural properties. In the last 2 decades, using directed evolution, industry built up on nature’s success to develop clean ways to get to the products needed in modern world. Since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was solved by bacteria degrading oil, mankind has turned to biotechnological methods such as directed evolution to answer many worldwide problems such as pollution due to waste coming from the industry, fossil fuel shortage, diseases or even poverty.

 

Since nature did not evolve enzymes to be the perfect biocatalyst and tolerate industrial conditions, we use protein engineering to enhance the enzymes’ performances under industrial conditions. Such enzyme evolution is performed by introducing mutations on the gene level in order to obtain altered enzyme variants with improved properties.

 

We share our passion for enzymes – the most diverse molecule in the entire universe

 

It all started with an idea of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg about developing a true alternative to common error-prone PCR. Over several years, the idea was shaped and finally named SeSaM – Sequence Saturation Mutagenesis. The technology was refined and continuously improved from its birth in 2004 until October 2008, when SeSaM-Biotech was founded as a spin-off of Jacobs University Bremen.

 

In 2012, SeSaM-Biotech moved to its new facilities in Aachen and on October 8 in 2013, we celebrated the 5-Year-Anniversary of SeSaM-Biotech! Since we like birthdays, there will definitely be more.