The sea is offering the Wilmington area another path to prosperity as research and the business of marine biotechnology prepare to grow here. It’s “an industry that’s waiting to happen,” said Randall Johnson, director of the N.C. Biotechnology Center’s southeastern office.
And a new umbrella organization – the Marine Biotechnologies Center of Innovation – hopes to serve as a catalyst for growth and commercialization of marine biotech efforts, said its CEO, Deborah Mosca.
Mosca and a panel of other experts spoke about the field at a gathering Tuesday at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Burney Center. The upbeat marine biotech program was part of UNCW’s annual Economic Outlook Conference.
A sound strategy for marine biotechnology research, technology development and innovation and a concerted coordination of relevant national and regional programmes are urgently needed in Europe. The Coordination and Support Action ‘MarineBiotech’ is a response to this, aiming at an ERA-NET in marine biotechnology that can deliver ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’, a core objective of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Bringing together 11 partners from 9 countries, MarineBiotech will work with Europe’s other initiatives including SEAS-ERA, ERA-IB, ERA Bioenergy and the new Joint Programming Initiative in Healthy Seas and Oceans, as well as other relevant projects and programmes.
MarineBiotech is coordinated by the Research Council of Norway and managed by BioBridge Ltd UK. The 1st invitation-only workshop Mobilisation and Engagement of Funding Agencies and Stakeholders took place in Faro, Portugal 26th-27th April 2012, organised by the Portuguese science funding agency FCT.
UK University Research Group seeks SME partners to explore the development of three specific marine bio-resources to produce high value products: anti-cancer drugs, oxygenase biocatalysts, anti-microbialsPosted On: September 4, 2011
The marine environment is a very rich source of bio-molecules with therapeutic applications. Blue biotechnology specifically seeks to harness the biodiversity of the marine environment for access to high-value and relatively low-volume biological products. Recent advances in molecular biology (including metagenomic methods) mean that there is now remarkable potential to harness genetic biodiversity from specific marine environments for bio-product preparation. For example, when studying marine bacteria they are no longer limited to experimental approaches that focus on the <1% of organisms that can be easily cultivated as pure cultures in the laboratory.
The valorization of marine biodiversity for the EU economy using such approaches therefore offers much promise. In this project they will aim to explore the development of three specific marine bio-resources to produce high value products:
i) Anti-cancer drugs from sponges
ii) Oxygenase biocatalysts from marine bacteria
iii) Anti-microbials based on bacterial viruses
Technical Specifications / Specific technical requirements:
Call Details: KBBE.2012.3.2-01 Innovative marine biodiscovery pipelines for novel industrial products, call deadline 15th November 2011.
Expected proposal budget around ¬5m. Funding for SMEs at 75%
Proposal under prepartion, consotrium academic members in place, SMEs being recruited.
Aquapharm Biodiscovery renews deal with Croda/Sederma, harnessing Aquapharm’s collection of marine micro-organisms for cosmeticsPosted On: July 12, 2011
Leading Scottish marine biotechnology company, Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd, has reached a crucial new stage in the development of next generation cosmetics harnessing its unique collection of marine micro-organisms.
Aquapharm, which signed a three year R&D agreement with Croda, a global leader in speciality chemicals for the personal care market in 2008, has struck a renewed deal to work with Croda’s highly respected cosmetics subsidiary, Sederma, to advance a shortlist of naturally sourced candidates identified during the collaboration towards the market.
Prof. Simon Best, CEO of Aquapharm, explains: “I’m delighted that Sederma and Aquapharm will continue to build on the foundations established through our successful collaboration with Croda; it confirms the rich potential of our marine microbe collection as a source of next generation cosmetic ingredients for skincare application. We are now on course to see the first of our products launched to market as early as 2013.”
Dr Keith Layden, President, Croda Enterprise Technology, says: “Aquapharm is one of the UK’s most promising biotech firms, breaking new ground with its pioneering research into marine natural products. Our collaboration thus far has led to many exciting new developments which promise to deliver novel and sustainable solutions for the personal care industry.
Cyanotech Corporation, a NASDAQ-traded leader in microalgae-based, high-value nutrition and health products, headquartered in Kona, Hawaii, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2011, ended March 31, 2011.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, revenues were $5,218,000 compared to $3,814,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Gross profit was $1,798,000, with gross profit margin of 34%, compared to gross profit of $1,387,000 and gross profit margin of 36% for 4Q ’10. Net income was $795,000 or $.14 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $226,000 or $(0.04) per diluted share last fiscal year.
Fiscal Year 2011
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, revenues were $16,827,000 compared to revenues of $15,742,000 for the year ended March 31, 2010. Gross profit was $6,341,000, with gross profit margin of 38%, compared to gross profit of $6,633,000 and gross profit margin of 42% in fiscal 2010. Net income was $1,730,000 or $.32 per diluted share, compared to $1,391,000, or $0.26 per diluted share fiscal year 2010.
For fiscal 2011, Spirulina sales accounted for 50% of total revenues and natural Astaxanthin sales for 50%. International sales were 42% of total sales.
Enzymicals AG, an emerging company in the field of industrial (white) biotechnology, and the Institute of Marine Biotechnology e.V. (IMaB), an association in the area of marine (blue) biotechnology, have signed a comprehensive agreement to cooperate in the future. The two institutions, both located in Greifswald, Germany, combine their competencies in the commercialization of alternative expression systems and functional genome analysisfor the production of fine chemicals. The signed contract includes the joint use of innovative technologies for the identification and production of novel enzymes from aquatic sources, among others. Dormant potentials of marine habitats for biotransformations can be deciphered and brought into market by the focused application of proteomics-based biotechnology, says Prof. Dr. Thomas Schweder of the IMaB. Together with Enzymicals AG, we can offer our expertise in the field of de novo genome sequencing and gene annotation to a wide audience as a service.
The recent opening of the Astec Centre is expected to offer a number of opportunities for fledgling marine businesses.
Astec Aquaculture Business & Science Centre is a purpose-built resource that has been created to support the growth of the aquaculture sector. It opened its doors to businesses and researchers recently, showcasing the extensive facilities and support services that it offers.
Due to its strategic location on the Northumberland coastline at Lyne Sands, Astec is uniquely placed to pump a constant supply of near tropical temperature, flow-through seawater to its state-of-the-art aqua laboratories, which are fitted out with specialist equipment to support a broad range of commercial and research activities.
The new Astec Centre is located close by the Dove Marine Laboratory at Newcastle University, considered a key centre for Newcastle University’s School of Marine Science and Technology, which is leading research into areas such as algae biofuels. However, the prospect of state-of-the-art facilities nearby could help experts refine and expand discoveries further.
Dove Marine Laboratory director Professor Grant Burgess said: “We have several early-stage projects which we may be able to commercialise over the next 12 months. These involve growing and harvesting marine microalgae to make useful products such as omega 3 oils. Astec offers the expertise, historical track record and passion of the people involved to ensure this project is a success.”
The focus at the centre is on application of marine science to building businesses and creating jobs. This complements and builds on current marine biotechnology programmes at the Dove and will considerably strengthen the region in this growth area.
Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. announced recently that Bayer Healthcare, LLC Consumer Care Division has formally launched its Arctic Wonder proprietary Neptune Krill Oil (“NKO”) in the United States in March 2011 after a succesful market test.
Bayer’s market test conducted over the last year with NKO® under its Arctic Wonder brand was performed in the US internet direct response e-commerce channel of trade.
“Acasti management team, is delighted by the relationship Neptune has developed with Bayer. This is yet another significant milestone for Neptune’s strategic planning which will help NKO® achieve extensive consumer awareness and appreciation. We are looking forward to a successful long-term collaboration with Bayer”, stated Dr. Tina Sampalis, President of Acasti Pharma.
“The agreement with Bayer, the market test results and the marketing approach for Arctic Wonder NKO® not only create broad consumer awareness, confidence and appreciation but also distinguish NKO® as the superior and prime choice amongst competitor krill oil products”, said Mr. Henri Harland, President and CEO of Neptune.“Arctic Wonder is entering the rapidly growing omega-3 market which has shown a sustained annual growth of 12% according to the Frost and Sullivan Report 2010. The omega-3 category is valued at $1.7 billion and expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2015. We believe the full launch by Bayer of Arctic Wonder will achieve immediate success which will in turn positively influence our growth and increase Neptune’s krill oil market share, reinforcing Neptune’s position as the industry leader and Neptune Krill Oil as the gold standard of quality and efficacy for krill oil products in the market.” he added.
Scanbio, a Norwegian fish by-products group and GlycoMar, a Scottish marine biotechnology company, are pleased to announce the signing of a collaboration and licence agreement to commercialise a nutritional supplement product worth up to £4m a year in gross sales . Scanbio Scotland, based in Corpach, Fort William have led the negotiation of the deal with Oban based bio-research specialists GlycoMar. The deal follows four years of research at GlycoMar’s labs and small-scale trials at Scanbio’s factories in Norway to produce an anti-inflammatory joint therapy product.
GlycoMar Limited, based at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, is a specialist biotechnology company developing anti-inflammatory products with applications in nutrition, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. GlycoMar’s founder, Dr Charlie Bavington, said “we are very excited about this agreement, which is our first out-licensing deal in the nutritional sector. This is the outcome of several years research in utilisation of fisheries by-products. We are particularly delighted to be collaborating with Scanbio, who we believe are the best partner to commercialise this technology.”
Using a substance found in the shells of shrimp and crabs, former military physician William Wiesmann developed a bandage that stopped soldiers from bleeding to death on the battlefield.
Now the CEO of Claremont- based biotechnology company Synedgen, Wiesmann hopes to take the blood-clotting and bacteria-killing properties of the substance to treat the painful mouth sores that plague many cancer patients.
Synedgen received last month a $2 million award from the National Institutes of Health to produce a treatment that prevents infection and improves healing for oral mucositis, a common debilitating side effect from chemotherapy.