mk2 Biotechnologies produces peptides for mass applications.


  • Founded: not foundet yet
  • Address: Universitaetsstrasse 25
  • Zip/Postcode: 33615
  • City: Bielefeld
  • Country: Germany
  • Phone: 
  • Contact person for business: Dr. Nadja Alina Henke
  • Contact person for science: Dr. Nadja Alina Henke

Company summary

Biotechnological innovations are of high importance towards an sustainable and green economy in our society. The cosmetics and feed industry are particularly looking for solutions to meet the increasing demand and quality requirements of customers. The red pigment astaxanthin is one of the best natural antioxidants and a widely used colorant for feed applications. Bicomer offers natural astaxanthin with superior quality – more free astaxanthin – more of the prefered stereoisomer and with a first-class production process. Renewable raw materials or agricultural waste products can be used as starting materials in the fermentation process that can be performed worldwide. Our production organism is biotechnologically established for more than 60 years and ensures safe, flexible and scalable production. The founder team combines scientific excellence, biotechnological expertise and the effort to bring the invention on the market. Bicomer wants to turn this first-class technology into a success story following the entrepreneurial tradition of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Technology field

Industrial Biotechnology

Technology and USP

• Fermentative and scalable platformtechnology for high-value terpenoid production in non-pharma businesses
• Market entry with natural astaxanthin for the cosmetic industry (short-term: 2-3 years) and feed industry (long-term: 5 years)
• USP: process innovation for scalable and sustainable natural astaxanthin (ASTA) production by microbial fermentation with Corynebacterium glutamicum; climate- and saeson-independent, flexible and local production (also on the basis of alternative feedstocks); coproduction of astaxanthin with lysine (ASTALYS) for feed industry; product innovation ASTAPLUS

Development until now

• Bicomer’s technology is based on 8 years of research into carotenoid and terpenoid production in Corynebacterium glutamicum (Prof. Dr. Volker Wendisch, Center for Biotechnology & Bielefeld University)
• The founding idea was launched by Dr. Nadja Alina Henke as part of her doctoral thesis
• Since 2018, Bicomer has been funded by the “ERDF start-up” program. Together with Dr. Florian Meyer and the support of Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch as well as Christopher Henke and Dr. Petra Peters-Wendisch Bicomer achieved a scientific and economic proof-of-principle of the business idea. The strain and process development shows that the technology has the potential to offer the fastest, most flexible and cheapest way to offer natural astaxanthin on the market (CAGR: 25%). Bicomer won the pitch contest at the Biocamp 2019.

Capital requirements:

750k €


Nadja Alina Henke

Dr. Nadja A. Henke is a research assistant and has been enthusiastic about innovations and business ideas since her studies. She was one of the youngest participants at the Innovation Academy Biotechnology of the BMBF in Berlin at the end of 2015. After completing her master’s thesis in the field of synthetic biology on the topic of astaxanthin biosynthesis, she decided to continue pursuing this very promising research topic and graduated with a PhD at Volker F. Wendisch’s laboratory. She was able to identify a new regulatory mechanism of carotenoid biosynthesis and transferred the findings to the production of industrially relevant colorants and fragrances. The results of her dissertation (summa cum laude) were awarded the dissertation award of the university and honored by further prizes at international conferences. She has already proven her skills for biotechnological-relevant questions and the skill to develop innovative and sought-after business ideas in two business plan competitions, a pitch-contest and her successful grant application of the “NRW Start-Up Hochschulausgründung”. Mrs. Henkes ambition is to exploit the outstanding opportunities of biotechnology at the economic scale. Having grown up in a family business, she wants to take responsibility for implementing her invention and to build up a successful business.