Aker BioMarine develops pilot LPC compound

Published: 26-Nov-2020

The company is looking for research collaborations to further investigate the full potential of the compound

Aker BioMarine has developed a pilot product and production method for lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC)- bound EPA and DHA from krill.

As of today, there is no commercially available LPC-EPA/DHA product in the market, except for high cost and small amounts of synthetically produced material for research purposes.

The company will scale up the production process at its manufacturing plant in Houston and initiate collaboration with partners to eventually bring LPC from krill to consumers. Aker has initiated regulatory processes and plans to launch a commercial dietary supplement product to the market by the end of 2022.

There is increasing interest and concern around brain and eye health across different demographic groups. With an aging population globally, brain health and healthy aging will continue to be a crucial area of innovation, with substantial market potential in the decades to come. There is also an increased focus on eye health from an early age. The younger population is spending more time in front of their screens which can result in extra strain.

The mechanism of targeted delivery of fatty acids was first identified in research published in Nature, identifying LPC as a primary carrier molecule of DHA across the blood-brain barrier. This uptake mechanism applies broadly to polyunsaturated fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, and is dependent on an LPC transporter protein called Mfsd2A. This transport of LPC-EPA/DHA has also been identified in several other organs, such as the eyes.

This discovery prompted Aker to explore the method to produce LPC-bound EPA/DHA from krill, resulting in the production process of a compound, Lysoveta.

Aker’s Antarctic krill products are high in phosphatidylcholine (PC), a raw material to produce LPC-bound EPA and DHA. During the last six years, the company has made investments into patent-protected product development and will now focus on expanding its research of Lysoveta.

“Our innovation team has spent the last six years working on the science and chemistry with a goal of bringing Lysoveta to the market. 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,” said Matts Johansen, CEO, Aker BioMarine.

With degenerative brain disorders and eye diseases being on the rise globally, treatment options are urgently needed. It’s scientifically established that EPA and DHA play a crucial role in supporting the structural integrity and functioning of the cells and organs of the brain and eyes. By combining knowledge of how EPA and DHA affect human health with an understanding of fatty acid transport, Lysoveta will enable targeted delivery of EPA and DHA, Aker says.

Aker BioMarine is addressing relevant markets with this vertical. Recent numbers from Grand View Research predict that the global dietary supplement market for brain health is expected to grow to $10.8bn in 2025, and for eye health to $2.1bn.

Aker BioMarine is actively seeking out industry partners to advance knowledge of LPC.

“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,” said Dr Andreas Storsve, Director R&D, Human Products at Aker BioMarine.

The krill used for Lysoveta is sustainably harvested from the waters of Antarctica. Like Aker’s other krill products, Lysoveta will carry the same certifications (Marine Stewardship Council/Non-GMO/Friend of the Sea) and adhere to the same sustainability and quality standards.

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