BioMarine Think Tank towards Cascais: Commercialising a new frontier of marine phycopolymers for health and medical applications. Commercialising a new frontier of marine phycopolymers for health and medical applications. Moderator: Pierre Erwes – BioMarine Business Convention Date: Tuesday June 24, 13.30 – 15.00 Room 6B, Australian Technology Park, Sydney Name Pia Winberg Helen Fitton Gordon Wallace Country Australia Australia Australia Organisation University of Wollongong Marinova Pty. Ltd. Email [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] Jean-François Sassi Yannick Lerat Franck Hennequart Dagmar Stengel France CEA [email protected] France Ireland CEVA OGT & ALGANACT [email protected] [email protected] Ireland University of Galway [email protected] Dr. Gilles Bedoux France [email protected] Stefan Kraan Joao Navalho Ireland Portugal Universite de Bretagne Sud Ocean Harvest a4f Intelligent Polymer Research Institute and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science - University of Wollongong Stefa[email protected] [email protected] Background: Marine phycopolymers represents the numerous compounds that can be extracted from algae; specifically of interest and emerging value to the field of glycobiology are the hydrogels, phyco- or hydrocolloids, gels, sulphated or muco-polysaccharides. These compounds from a few species of seaweeds have been extracted at an industrial scale since the 1940’s and used in the food and technology industry for the gelling and emulsifying properties, but also in materials for the fluidity of liquids (e.g. paints, ink, fire retardants). However the field is increasing in sophistication at the same time that glycobiology (polysaccharide biology) is appreciating the importance of such compounds in health and medical applications both as biocompatible materials but also cell communication to inhibit or promote microorganisms and cell to cell communication for vital biological processes. Thus the opportunity for colloids have long been an industrial commodity, however they are now converging with the field of glycobiology and the potential for high end bioactive ingredients and biocompatible materials of great importance and potential benefit to society. Currently there are limitations to the progress of seaweed phycopolymers in health and medical applications as they are a natural compound, have a track record of high variability (lack of consistency), are not reliable in scale and consistency of supply, and are limited in the number of human intervention studies, despite extensive benefits shown in animal nutrition and health research. So where are the barriers in the vertical chain of production to market for this new frontier in health and medicine from the marine environment? Concept: This would be a round table workshop with a number of stakeholders from multiple sectors to bring together a meta-analysis of the opportunity, pathways and barriers to commercialisation of marine phycopolymers in medicine and health. It would include representatives from: Applied Phycology – a background in the knowledge of seaweeds, production (cultivation or harvest) and some polysaccharide knowledge Chemistry – a background in the extraction processes and molecular structures of sulphated polysaccharides and molecular crowds (glycolipids, glycosaminoglycans etc.). Polymer materials – a background in the rheology and viscosity properties of polymers and the needs of this industry (bionics, medical devices, surface coatings, antimicrobial properties, 3D printing) Medical Research – a background in the application and interaction of phycopolymers with microorganisms, cells and metabolic processes Commercialisation – a background in the strategic development of R&D in the medical field including experience of clinical trials, regulations and legislation in different jurisdictions Investment – VC, Bank or other financing with an interest in the field of BioTech, particularly Marine Biotech. The objective would be to establish the key aspects from each field of knowledge in the chain of production to product and establish the barriers to realising this new frontier (e.g. multisectoral and multidisciplinary networks, production and biomass, processing standards and capacity, quality control (at what stage), evidence of efficacy (clinical trials), awareness by the medical sector, consistency of product, priority areas of application in health and medicine, regulations, investment (R&D and industry), public awareness.). A report and a publication in JAPH will be an outcome of this workshop.
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