Project Details


TeeGene Biotech Ltd. is a spin-out company from Dr Pat Rahman's research based at Wilton Centre.

Soap is considered to be an effective means of removing bacteria from their skin. However, we have flipped this concept on its head by discovering a way to create soap from bacteria. TeeGene Biotech Ltd. has developed a way to create biosurfactants, which act like soap and help to emulsify different liquids, from strains of eco-friendly microbes such as bacteria, algae, fungi and yeast. The biosurfactants created can be manufactured in a lab and are fully biodegradable, with minimal impact on the environment. The business has intellectual property in its production processes and equipment, and is developing this further in our product offerings. We work through supplying the ingredients to cosmetics and biopharma manufacturers.

Our Short term aims are to secure First commercial contract. We will develop biosurfactant formulas for cosmetics, speciality applications in agriculture sector and we will remain a business-to-business ingredient supplier, and expand out the range of products we can supply by sourcing and producing different species of bacteria, fungi and yeast to give distinct products with specific benefits, and addressing market opportunities. We produce biosurfactants samples onsite for customers and will sell the IP / know how.
5. Do you have any ROI projections?

ROI of 300% with an annual return of 60%. The clients include detergent formulation, cosmetics and agrochemical sector. We already identified clients and are expecting the products from TeeGene by 2018. In addition to the primary biosurfactants we supply, we are researching with Teesside, Sheffield and York university collaborators about the new and exciting antimicrobial, anti-aging, drug delivery, bio-binding benefits of various biosurfactants for cosmetics, biopharmaceuticals and personal care sectors (e.g.: anti-microbial and anti-ageing creams, stabiliser for cancer treatment drugs).

Who are your competitors?

TeeGene is the only biosurfactant focused small company in UK. This is still a small industry in the West, but there are competitors in US. There is always competition also from cheap imports of different types of biosurfactants from countries like China, but our biosurfactants are distinct, and sold on quality, safety, traceability and sustainability to a level we believe no-one else can match. However we mostly work well with others in the industry as, even where there may be elements of competition, most recognise that working together to grow an overall market is better than competing too much and risking seeing a small but rapidly-emerging market implode for everyone.

What’s unique about your business?

Our expertise and passion for biosurfactant and its organic nature and biodegradable benefits makes us unique, along with our specialist process, techniques and sustainable extraction methods.
We aim to
• Educate consumers about what biosurfactants are why they are so great for you, and how best use it to take advantage of its maximum benefits.
• Supply the best-quality biosurfactant we can.
• We have an incredible source of microbial culture bank for biosurfactants, from a truly unique facilities in at Teesside University. Within the Wilton centre and Teesside University, we have a wealth of knowledge and facilities in the area of Bioprocess development. This has enabled Teegene to develop the science base and create an innovative process to sustainably manufacture biosurfactants. It is believed through extensive patent searches that this has not been replicated world-wide

What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up grant?

Bio Base NWE Innovation Coupon Scheme represented a value of maximum €30,000, this has supported feasibility study work surrounding bioprocess development. In addition, the voucher has supported scale-up work undertaken at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP), an independent, flexible, state-of–the-art demonstration facility in Ghent, Belgium, to validate innovative biobased technologies and scale them up to an industrial level. Teegene was one of the 27 SMEs who received financial support through the project to conduct feasibility studies and scale-up trials at the Belgian plant. The biosurfactant scale-up work was very successful, and made us confident that we can manufacture biosurfactants at an industrial level. We are now looking into the possibility to build our own pilot line. We are in the process of sending samples to the interested industrial customers, but needed the grant to get the technologies developed in pilot scale. We have also completed techno-economic model with help of expertise from Centre for Process and Innovation (CPI).

How have you used it to grow your business?

We use the grant to invest in the technologies and develop our product, thus supply our customers, and expand out our customer base with a high-quality, scalable and sustainable product.

Effective start/end date23/12/14 → …


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.