Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria and in nature is an opportunistic human pathogen. Over a five year period Progenesis has worked in conjunction with discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to eliminate production of pathogenic gene expression products which could contaminate our recombinant alginate and engender costly extraction techniques. We have engineered proprietary strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lacking the genes that encode these products. Eliminating these genes has yielded strains that lack any virulence in vitro and in vivo.
As a complementary approach, Progenesis is engineering the Pseudomonas species fluorescens and putida, since they are not classified as human pathogens. Based on DNA sequence analysis, these species have different mechanism for regulating alginate biosynthesis. Progenesis is pursuing several engineering approaches to unlocking high and stable alginate production in these species, as well as removing any genes that might encode products of concern to the FDA.