Squalene produced in yeast


Squalene acts as a booster for potential vaccines against SARS-coV-2. However, the richest squalene source, shark liver, can and should not be exploited further. Yeast cell factories can be designed to produce high amounts of squalene.


Squalene is a natural oil that is omnipresent in all domains of life. The compound has proven to act as a booster for vaccines, eg. against SARS-coV-2, and improves the uptake of the serum and the stability of the immune reaction. However, highest yields of squalene have been derived from shark liver oil so far. With increasing demand of squalene, the sharks’ life will be in danger: the production of 1 ton of squalene requires approximately 3000 sharks.


In order to save sharks because of an increased demand of squalene for vaccination campaigns, acib proposes to produce squalene in yeast. A Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain modified for sterol biosynthesis produ- ces increased levels of squalene. Metabolic and bioprocess engineering approaches have improved this effect in laboratory scale.


Under protection of a cDA/NDA we provide you with a professional strat- egy for producing squalene on industrial scale. Any IP developed in such a project would fully belong to the investor/industrial partner.


Prof. Dr. Harald Pichler, Dr. Tamara Wriessnegger, Dr. Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin

Available for:

Investments, Joint Research Projects, Contract Research

Development status:

Technology Readiness Level 3-5 (Technology validated in lab)


Can be generated for our industrial partners / investors


Squalene, SARS-COV-2, Vaccine booster, High yield, Yeast cell factory

Dr. Martin U. Trinker
Director Business Development & Fundraising
Krenngasse 37
8010 Graz
+43 316 873 9316