Oslo, Norway—Aker BioMarine announced a new pilot product and production method for lysophosphatidylcholine-bound EPA and DHA (LPC-EPA/DHA) from krill. The company points to research in the journal Nature that identified LPC as a primary carrier molecule of DHA across the blood-brain barrier. According a press release from Aker, this uptake mechanism applies broadly to polyunsaturated fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, and is dependent on an LPC transporter protein called Mfsd2A that has also been identified in several other organs, such as the eyes.
There is increasing interest in promoting and maintaining brain and eye health across various demographic groups, the release notes. The company predicts that brain health and healthy aging will continue to be a crucial area of innovation with substantial market potential in the decades to come due to an aging global population. There is demand from younger consumers as well, as people are spending more time in front of their screens. Aker references data from Grand View Research suggesting that the global dietary supplement market for brain health is expected to grow from $6.7B in 2019 to $10.8B in 2025, and eye health is expected to grow from$1.5B to $2.1B.
Aker is seeking research collaborations to further investigate the potential of LPC-EPA/DHA, which it says is not currently commercially available in the market, except for small amounts of synthetically produced material for research purposes. The plan: to scale up the production process at the Aker BioMarine manufacturing plant in Houston and collaborate with partners to make LPC from krill available to consumers. According to the release, the company has initiated regulatory processes and expects to have the approvals to launch commercial dietary supplement product to the market by the end of 2022.
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During the last six years, Aker BioMarine says the company has made “significant investments into patent-protected product development and will now focus on expanding the research around the untapped potential of a new compound called LYSOVETA, which was inspired by the science.
“Our innovation team has spent the last six years working on the science and chemistry with a goal of bringing LYSOVETA to the market,” said Matts Johansen, CEO, Aker BioMarine, in the release. “With LYSOVETA, Aker BioMarine is the first company to produce LPC-bound EPA and DHA from krill. For us, this is a breakthrough in science and product development, launching a completely new platform to improve human health.”
Regarding collaboration opportunities, Dr. Andreas Storsve, Director R&D, Human Products at Aker BioMarine, said, “The scientific research on the connection between LPC and the targeted delivery of EPA/DHA, combined with our capabilities to produce LPC-bound EPA and DHA from krill at scale, gives us a unique position to be a central player in the development of this completely new product to support brain and eye health. We will actively seek collaboration with the scientific community and beyond to explore LYSOVETA’s full potential and build more knowledge about how it may affect conditions surrounding cognitive and eye health. We are the only company in the world ready to offer a supply of natural raw material to our partners and the research community to continue building our knowledge around LPC.”