Conagen’s fermentation platform expands on promising novel forms of vitamin K2

GlobeNewswire October 31, 2022

Bedford, Mass., Oct. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Biotech innovator, Conagen announced the development of its fermentation-derived vitamin K2 – a high-purity all-trans menaquinone-7 (MK-7).  This is the first molecule from a proprietary platform for producing novel, pure, long-chain menaquinone forms of the vitamin. The platform enables low-cost manufacturing and yields high-quality products, making it attractive to health brands.


“Conagen’s MK-7 technology produces a clean profile of the vitamin without other similar molecules, such as ubiquinone,” said Casey Lippmeier, Ph.D., senior vice president of innovation at Conagen. “Our process allows us to make pure forms of any long-chain menaquinone, be it 6, 7, 8, 9, and these can be consumed in various combinations with other vitamins or with each other to make the most effective supplement possible. As the clinical evidence evolves, so can the supplement.”


Vitamin K2 helps to regulate calcium mobility in bones and restricts calcium buildup in blood vessels, leading to stroke and heart disease. MK-7 is the more bioavailable form of K2 on the market; the other major form is MK-4, which both have taken a strong position in the markets for bone and cardiovascular health.


The biological activity of MK-7 is strictly linked to its all-trans configuration, which is naturally found in fermented superfoods such as natto. Cis-analogues are considered biologically inactive. Synthetic versions of MK-7 contain some amount of the cis-isomer form. Low-quality sources containing cis forms affect the efficacy of the vitamin.


Other long-chain forms of vitamin K2, such as MK-8 and MK-9, exist naturally in cheeses. Research on the health benefits of these other K2 forms has only begun to emerge. 


Personalized nutrition is popular with consumers looking for technological breakthroughs in functional foods and nutrition. Conagen’s cost-effective fermentation-derived MK-7 provides new opportunities for brands to develop products to meet the demand of the growing aging population.


“We’re demonstrating our capabilities with innovative technologies that expand market choices in nutrition,” said Lippmeier. “Our fermentation and bioconversion platforms have also produced the clean nutrient ergothioneine and the antioxidant taxifolin, further demonstrating the versatility of our platform technologies.”


Conagen’s research into the MK-7 production process was done in part as a 3-year collaboration with the lab of Prof. Anthony Sinskey at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Health brands interested in non-GMO, vegan vitamin K2 MK-4 and MK-7 and special ingredients, such as ErgoActive® L-Ergothioneine® and Taxifolin BC DHQ® for nutrition and food and beverage preservation, respectively, can contact Blue California, a pipeline partner of Conagen. To inquire more about Conagen’s products or partnerships, please visit


About Conagen

Conagen is a product-focused, synthetic biology R&D company with large-scale manufacturing service capabilities. Our scientists and engineers use the latest synthetic biology tools to develop high-quality, sustainable, nature-based products by precision fermentation and enzymatic bioconversion. We focus on the bioproduction of high-value ingredients for food, nutrition, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceutical, and renewable materials industries. 


Ana Arakelian, Head of Public Relations and Communications

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