Biocatalyst for Production of a Nutraceutical to Treat Interstitial Cystitis

Technology #14808

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James F. Preston III
Managed By
John Byatt
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending 2016-0289719-A1

Enables Production of Acidic Xylooligosaccharides with Greater Biological Activity for Use in Pentosan Polysulfate Production and as Human and Animal Nutraceuticals

This bacterial biocatalyst breaks down plant-based polysaccharides into molecules used in both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. Pentosan polysulfate (PPS) is a pharmaceutical compound commonly used for the treatment of interstitial cystitis in humans and osteoarthritis in dogs, horses, and other animals. Manufacturers derive the compound from acidic xylooligosaccharides (U-XOS), precursors of PPS. However, available U-XOS production procedures often rely on chemical synthesis with low yield of final product, not suitable for commercial production.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a biocatalyst strain of Bacillus subtilis that converts the predominant polysaccharide in the hemicellulose fraction of plant biomass into acidic xylooligosaccharides. The new strain of B. subtilis was created without genetic engineering and is suitable for large-scale commercial applications. Preliminary studies demonstrate that the xylooligosaccharides formed by this biocatalyst have biological activity several-fold greater than at least one commercially available PPS.


A biocatalyst for the commercial production of nutraceuticals used to make high-potency Pentosan Polysulfate, which treats interstitial cystitis, osteoarthritis, and some other inflammatory joint diseases


  • Catalyzes the formation of xylooligosaccharides with greater biological activity than those manufactured using chemical synthesis, enabling the production of pentosan polysulfate with higher potency
  • Produces more biologically active xylooligosaccharides for nutraceutical applications, providing stronger prebiotic effects
  • B. subtilis is a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) organism, providing increased assurance of safety for products intended for human ingestion
  • Utilizes low-cost and readily available substrates, such as hemicellulose derived from hardwood trees, lowering production costs
  • Easily modifies to make selected products from different plant sources, creating opportunities for customizing products


This strain of B. subtilis functions as a biocatalyst for producing neutral and acidic oligosaccharides. Researchers created the strain by deleting specific genes from a starting organism. The strain works by depolymerizing xylans (xylose-containing polysaccharides derived from agricultural crops) and converting them into oligosaccharide products.