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Collaborative Agreement Creates New Opportunities For Scots Scientists

Monday, 03 October 2011

Scottish marine biotechnology firm Aquapharm has signed an agreement with the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI) which will allow the organisations to access and co-promote one another's unique microbe collections.

Aquapharm specialises in the discovery, isolation and development of novel functional active ingredients, sustainably harvested from marine micro-organisms for potential use in a wide range of commercial sectors.

Meanwhile not-for-profit organisation CABI - which is highly respected for its cutting-edge research - applies scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment, with a focus on scientific publishing, development and research, and microbial services.

The agreement sets out how Aquapharm and CABI will share know-how and resources, paving the way for the future commercialisation of a variety of microbial strains/extracts.

Jon Williams, Aquapharm's Business Development Director, said: "This collaboration recognises Aquapharm's position as a leader in the sustainable commercial exploitation of marine resources, and we are excited by the opportunities it will bring.

"We and CABI now have access to strains which were outside our own collections, and will also share know-how on the production and culturing of select extracts.

"Our fields of interest are wide-ranging, from pharmaceutical and nutrition, to personal care and speciality chemicals and we believe this partnership agreement will undoubtedly maximise our opportunities to identify suitable compounds or active ingredients going forward."

Paul Bridge, CABI's Director of Bioservices, said: "The properties of microorganisms have been exploited by man for thousands of years, particularly in food preservation, brewing, and baking. They have been the source of many marvellous discoveries that have saved millions of lives and solved problems as diverse as pest attacks on agricultural crops and over-consumption of energy and chemicals in industrial processes. We find more uses for them every day: in products used to control pollution, improve food storage, fight bacteria, and develop medicines.

"This agreement between Aquapharm and CABI will allow us combined access to a wide variety of strains that our researchers can use in the future development of products for the benefit of mankind and the environment."

Aquapharm, which has bases in Edinburgh and Oban, has assembled a unique collection of marine micro-organisms, comprising over 8,750 viable strains of bacteria, fungi and yeasts, from a wide variety of marine habitats.

CABI, a United Nations treaty-level organisation owned by its member countries, operates the CABI Bioservices unit specialising in the provision of microbiological services to worldwide clients and maintains a collection of some 28,000 living cultures including microfungi and bacteria.

To find out more about Aquapharm visit www.aquapharm.co.uk - more details on CABI's work can be found at www.CABI.org



Notes to Editors

About Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd.

Aquapharm is a leading marine biotechnology company pioneering the discovery, isolation and development of novel, marine-derived bioactives for application in a wide range of commercial sectors, including pharmaceuticals, functional ingredients and industrial biotechnology. The company is based at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology in Oban, and Heriot-Watt University Research Park, Edinburgh.

Aquapharm has built a substantial and specialised collection of marine bacteria and fungi from a variety of diverse habitats. Through the application of its proprietary technologies to this collection, the company has been able to stimulate the production of novel, biologically active products with broad chemical diversity. To accelerate its discovery efforts, Aquapharm is currently preparing one of the world's largest marine-derived compound libraries.

For more information, please see http://www.aquapharm.co.uk/


About CABI


CABI (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International) is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organization with nine centres worldwide. Our mission and direction are influenced by more than 40 member countries that help guide the activities undertaken. These include scientific publishing, development projects and research, and microbial services. Our staff research and find solutions to agricultural and environmental problems. We use science, information and communication tools to help solve issues of global concern. We particularly focus on improving food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less, combating invasive species, finding natural alternatives to pesticides and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. For more information go to www.cabi.org