Future watch

Algatech licenses innovative biotechnology

August 8, 2019


Algatech Ltd, a global innovative leader in the development, cultivation and commercialisation of microalgae-derived ingredients, has licensed the rights and intellectual property related to the production of β-1,3-glucan from microalgae Euglena gracilis from US biotechnology company F3 Platform Biologics. As part of the agreement, fermentation expert Dr. Brad Cox, who has been instrumental in developing F3’s cutting-edge capabilities, will lead the Euglena project at Algatech and support its fermentation activity. In May 2019, Algatech was acquired by Solabia Group, a global leader in biotechnology, fine chemicals and plant extraction technologies.

The technology licensed by Algatech derives β-1,3-glucans from fermented microalgae Euglena gracilis, can be up to 60% made up of the active ingredient. β-1,3-glucans are currently widely available in the market from several sources including yeast, oats and mushrooms, however when derived from Euglena gracilis they are more concentrated and purer in their make-up due to their chemical structure and processing techniques. This makes them significantly more potent and effective in terms of their potential health benefits for both humans and animals. This new technology to extract β-1,3-glucans from the Euglena gracilis microalgae is more efficient and produces a higher-quality ingredient than previously possible.

Through its development of this new technology, Algatech’s vision is to bring these more efficient and better quality β-1,3-glucans-based products to market. In order to capitalise on the wide-reaching benefits of microalgae-derived β-1,3-glucans and a largely untapped market, Algatech is planning to launch several products using the nutrient for both the human and animal health markets in the coming months. These products will expand Algatech’s existing product offering and support its mission to develop commercial, microalgae-based products with the potential to tackle some of society’s most pressing wellbeing and health challenges.

Commenting on the deal, Hagai Stadler, Chief Executive Officer of Algatech, said:

“Currently only a tiny fraction of the world’s microalgae has been developed for commercial use, despite the vast potential these organisms can have in tackling societal health issues. β-1,3-glucans act as immunomodulators and prime immune cells – we are excited to explore new and innovative ways to deliver on Algatech’s mission to unlock the power and health benefits of microalgae for consumers. We expect to launch the first Euglena-based product in the coming months and, following the launch of FucoVital™ last year, it will be Algatech’s third commercial product. Additionally, our experienced R&D team continue to explore and develop other promising health ingredients derived from microalgae, with wide-ranging benefits, which will be launched over the following years.”

Geoffroy Madelin, Deputy CEO of Solabia Group, added:

“The licensing of F3’s technology is in line with Algatech’s mission and it will continue to expand and lead in the global cultivation and commercialisation of microalgae. We expect the market for microalgae-derived products, beyond the use for health reasons, to continue to grow at an exponential rate in the near-term and we are excited to be at the forefront of this exciting growth trajectory, and to serve both the nutrition and cosmetic markets.”

Jonathan Peskoff, Chief Operating Officer of F3 Platform Biologics, said:

“After years of development, we are happy to have found a home for our cutting-edge technology. Algatech’s cultivation and marketing capabilities will allow this technology to prosper and will ensure that its benefits are realized by customers around the world. We are proud of the team’s achievements, especially the head of the project, Dr. Brad Cox, who will lead fermentation technology at Algatech.”

The technology has been licensed from F3 Platform Biologics who developed it under the product name BioGlena®. β-1,3-glucans are produced and processed at varied levels to make powdered products in market leading concentrated forms to minimally processed offerings additionally rich in protein, healthy fats and 23 other vitamins. Studies show that these properties make it an invaluable tool for boosting human immunity, increasing the body’s antibodies by 84% and supporting its ability to fight infection. Many of these benefits to human health also apply to animals – enhanced β-1,3-glucan intake has been proven to prime immune systems and support growth at optimal rates. In practice, the powder product can be added to shakes, protein drinks, nutritional bars, cookies, yogurt, puddings and chocolate for added health benefits, making it accessible and affordable for mass market consumption.

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