Triton Algae Raises $5M to Bring First Product to Market Next Year
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the gene into cultured cells. If the scientists have done their job right, the inserted genetic instructions program the organisms to begin producing the proteins.
Algae, however, doesn’t require the big fermenting containers and other expensive machinery used by big drug companies.
Triton says its first product is a protein called Mammary Associated Amyloid (MMA), which is normally produced in the colostrum and stimulates the production of mucus coating along the inner walls of the digestive tract. A statement from the company says the protein “is known to prevent the colonization of pathogenic bacteria that would result in the onset of diarrheal diseases.”
Triton said its first product will be synthetic MMA, expected to be commercially available in 2014. The company says MMA “has the potential to address diarrheal diseases worldwide, which account for over two million human deaths each year, are the leading cause of infant mortality, and kill approximately 20 percent of the world’s livestock.”
Triton also has been developing products that could be used to treat cancer, an approach Mayfield outlined for Xconomy in 2009.
Triton says proteins produced using its PhycoLogix process will be used in pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, cosmetics, and human and animal health and nutrition products.