30 August 2021 | News
Select beneficial algae will be developed into functional foods as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications
Microalgae cultivation start-up Yemoja is joining the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute to spearhead an extensive, four-year research initiative to identify algae-sourced compounds with the potential to help manage inflammation and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Select beneficial algae will be developed into functional foods as well as nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.
The initiative, titled 'Algae4IBD,' launched in June and has been awarded a grant of €7.5 million from the EU funding arm, Horizon 2020, which is dedicated to supporting game-changing research and innovation projects. Yemoja is one of a 21-member consortium composed of marine science experts, research institutes, universities, hospitals and IBD centres, and algae cultivation companies. The campaign is being led by Dr Dorit Avni, a senior researcher for MIGAL.
The initiative comes on the heels of promising research conducted by Avni’s team at MIGAL institute. Under this partnership, Yemoja will be responsible for cultivating multiple strains of known and novel microalgae to be screened for their potential anti-IBD properties. Several hundred strains will be screened before advancing to clinical trials. The microalgae candidates will be supplied by Yemoja, in conjunction with other global algae companies.
Yemoja’s high-precision indoor cultivation platform enables the company to manipulate environmental parameters such as light, temperature, and pH to achieve high concentrations of the desired bioactive compounds, and enhance yields without the threat of contamination. It involves a small-batch production line of vertical luminescent columns. Each one is isolated and allocated to a specific algae species.
Yemoja will roll out commercial-scale production of several identified successful microalgae candidates that will be used to develop functional food solutions, such as bread, gummies and bars, as well as natural supplements and pharmaceuticals.