PHILADELPHIA and HOUSTON, Oct. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, biotechnology company
In addition to launching their new product line, Solugen has announced their first round of fundraising. The company has raised $4.4M in seed funding from investors including Y Combinator, Refactor Capital, MIT, Liquid 2 Ventures and Social Capital Partnerships, among others.
Solugen was founded in 2016 by CEO Gaurab Chakrabarti, M.D., Ph.D., and CTO Sean Hunt, Ph.D. Dr. Chakrabarti discovered a unique enzyme that produced hydrogen peroxide using an extremely efficient and ultra-pure method from sugar sources during his M.D. and Ph.D. training in oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Hunt was completing his Ph.D on nanoparticle synthesis for hydrogen peroxide production at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Through their combined expertise, Drs. Hunt and Chakrabarti saw an opportunity to apply their work to the field of hydrogen peroxide manufacturing, a typically energy-intensive and dangerous process that relies on non-renewable resources like petroleum and produces hazardous byproducts.
"Hydrogen peroxide is recognized worldwide as a safe and effective cleaning ingredient, but is incredibly dangerous and energy-intensive to create and transport," said Dr. Chakrabarti. "Sean and I wanted to not only develop a technology that reduces the waste and pollution in the production process, but also create a purer product that would be clean and safe to use in our homes with our own families."
Through their combined research, Dr. Hunt and Dr. Chakrabarti developed a proprietary micromanufacturing platform, which combines cutting-edge enzymatic technology (via CRISPR/Cas9) with a reactor to create Bioperoxide, a form of hydrogen peroxide made from 100% plant starch.
"Our vision is to reduce the danger and pollution that is associated with the production, transportation and storage of hydrogen peroxide," said Dr. Hunt. "Our micromanufacturing units make it easy to scalably produce Bioperoxide when and where it is needed, reducing the long-term risks associated with storing and transporting hydrogen peroxide."
The team aims to license their proprietary micromanufacturing technology to major chemical companies to use in their own hydrogen peroxide manufacturing or as an end user, helping to reduce the broader environmental impact that chemical manufacturing has on the environment. Capitalizing on the emerging field of enzymatics and the gene editing technology CRISPR/Cas9, Bioperoxide is the first of many chemicals that can be re-imagined through green chemistry, creating cleaner, more efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.
"The combined knowledge that Sean and Gaurab bring to this market is unmatched," said Joe Montana, founder and partner at Liquid 2 Ventures. "Together, they have been able to not only patent and demonstrate the effectiveness of their technology, but also bring it to market. Hydrogen peroxide is in innumerable household products, from toothpaste to household cleaners, and there are just as many potential applications for Bioperoxide."
Introducing Ode to Clean
Solugen's first product line featuring the cleaning power of Bioperoxide is Ode to Clean. Starting today, Ode to Clean wipes will be available at www.odetoclean.com. A sleek, low-profile filled dispenser plus one refill pack will be available for $18.00.
Ode to Clean's wipes use Bioperoxide and are made from 100% plant starch. Because they are made with only plant starch and water, they are the only cleaning wipes on the market that do not emit toxic fumes or leave behind a toxic residue on surfaces, making them safe to use anywhere in the home. The wipes are 100% biodegradable and compostable, reducing the impact that disposable wipes have on the environment.
"Wipes are incredibly energy intensive to produce and create a lot of waste, but are also incredibly convenient to use," said Dr. Hunt. "In fact, we could drive from the Earth to the moon and back 18,000 times with the petroleum used to make the cleaning wipes Americans use every year. It made sense that we'd want to tackle this category first, creating wipes that are not only convenient and effective, but that consumers can feel good about using."
"Ode to Clean is not only a safe and effective cleaning product, but it's also a proof of concept for Bioperoxide," said David Lee, co-founder and Managing Partner at Refactor Capital. "Sean and Gaurab are not only proving that Bioperoxide can be produced in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, but that there is an increasing demand for consumer products and companies that are actively reducing their carbon footprint."
Founded in 2016 by Gaurab Chakrabarti, M.D., Ph.D., and Sean Hunt, Ph.D., Solugen is a biotechnology company applying green chemistry principles to re-design the production of a variety of ingredients. Solugen's mission is to help the fight against climate change by creating cleaner, greener, and safer chemical processes that reduce reliance on non-renewable resources and energy-intensive manufacturing, without sacrificing safety and efficacy. Solugen's line of cleaning products, Ode to Clean, features Bioperoxide, an ultra-pure form of hydrogen peroxide produced from 100% plant starch. Ode to Clean is available at www.odetoclean.com. Solugen is based in Philadelphia, PA and Houston, TX.
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