Avoca, Inc., a division of Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc., has formed a supply agreement with Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a privately held company developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions and products in a variety of industries, to extract and commercialize natural astaxanthin from a strain of algae developed by SGI. The multi-year supply agreement also provides Avoca with exclusivity for product sales in North America. Pharmachem Laboratories will be responsible for marketing and sales. SGI is developing this product through its Genovia Bio business unit, which is responsible for the development and commercialization of algal-based food, chemical and fuel products. Financial details were not disclosed.
David Peele, President of Avoca, comments, “This agreement will make us one of just a handful of vertically integrated, domestic producers of astaxanthin, with SGI providing sufficient algae biomass to ensure our customers of a consistent supply from U.S. sources. Using its proprietary technology, SGI has developed algae with a higher level of astaxanthin, and as a result, we can provide 7.5 percent astaxanthin oleoresin with the concentration increasing over time as the algae strain and production technology is improved.”
Jon Getzinger, Sr. Vice President, SGI, says, “We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with Avoca. Our ability to develop advantaged nutraceutical and human and animal feed ingredients coupled with Avoca’s ability to process and market those products, makes this an ideal agreement for both companies. Commercialization of astaxanthin with Avoca demonstrates how we can supply important high quality, natural ingredients to the market using our algae technology,” said Getzinger.
Natural astaxanthin is a supplement with multiple clinically proven health benefits associated with its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s is very difficult to produce and therefore supply is constrained relative to demand. SGI has developed a process for production of natural astaxanthin from a phototrophic source and demonstrated commercial-scale manufacturing capability and performance over 18 months. SGI’s natural astaxanthin has U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory approval for dietary supplement applications.
“We looked at several companies to partner with on this important ingredient,” relates Jim Flatt, President of SGI’s Genovia Bio. “Avoca is the strong partner we sought who was capable of both processing high-quality oil and delivering the product to the market through Pharmachem’s professional sales and marketing organization. Genovia Bio has rapidly developed two commercially ready products, one each from heterotrophic (sugar-utilizing) and phototrophic (light-utilizing) algae, which distinguishes Genovia Bio in this field. It’s exciting to see the pipeline of products emerging from our investment in algae product technology.”