Clemson, Diversa join to develop nutrition-enhancing enzymes

Clemson University (Clemson, S.C.) and Diversa Corporation (San Diego, Calif.) announced June 2 that they are collaborating to assess opportunities to leverage existing Diversa enzymes that have the potential to enhance human nutrition. The parties will initially focus on evaluating the ability of protein supplements to food to improve stamina and alertness and reduce fatigue.

Clemson scientists have ongoing programs to investigate diet and health, including the study of herbal remedies. Diversa is interested in improving the nutritional impact of food by using novel enzymes. Merging the benefits of diet with pharmaceuticals and modern genomic tools has created a rapidly growing global business area in nutrition. The Institute of Nutraceutical Research at Clemson is focused on deploying new technology to meet the needs of this new field. Diversa has developed a portfolio of commercialized enzyme products and an extensive pipeline of candidate enzymes and other proteins with industrial, chemical, agricultural, and pharmaceutical applications that have potential applications in diet and nutrition.

"Diversa's strengths in discovery and optimization of novel proteins are highly complementary with Clemson's research capabilities in nutrition, animal science, biochemistry, and chemical engineering," said David Gangemi, Ph.D., director of Clemson's Institute of Nutraceutical Research. "Diversa's well-established capabilities allow our institute to rapidly test and develop new nutraceutical compounds and be more competitive in federal grant programs."

"Clemson University and The Institute of Nutraceutical Research have developed impressive capabilities to accelerate the practical deployment of new technology aimed at improving human nutrition," said Jay M. Short, Ph.D., Diversa's president and CEO. "The Institute's ability to organize and run clinical testing programs and their established packaging and formulation expertise will help bring novel protein solutions to the consumer in a rapid, effective, safe, and economical process. We are excited about working with Clemson on proteins we are currently developing as well as working together to improve the competitiveness of both of our federal grant programs to develop new technologies."

A key goal of Clemson's expanding biotechnology program is to enhance the economy of South Carolina by developing public-private research collaborations. SC Bio, under the direction of the Institute of Nutraceutical Research, supports development of private corporate research and funding relationships.

"Our emerging relationship with Diversa represents an important corporate research collaboration in the life science industry. We believe this type of alliance will be pivotal in advancing research and creating new commercial avenues for South Carolina technologies," said SC Bio CEO Karl Kelly, Ph.D. "This is the result of South Carolina's continued efforts to attract and cultivate this industry to the state."

Additional information is available at Diversa's website: www.diversa.com. For more on Clemson's Institute of Nutraceutical Research, e-mail gangemj@clemson.edu or visit www.clemson.edu/INR.

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