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Objectives: Previous studies by Sea4Us have shown analgesic bioactivity from a molecule extracted from marine bacteria from the sea of Sagres, Portugal. This Bluebiotech4Pain project aims at optimizing the method of biotechnological production of such compound (or of its variants), while maintaining or even improving its bioactivity, leading to the establishment of a “green” scale-up production method and the design of the subsequent business strategy.
Main actions to develop: The main actions of this Bluebiotech4Pain project include a biotechnology production optimization that is supported by parallel chemical synthesis and and strain and fermentation process development (Activity 1). Produced compounds are tested by electrophysiology and in vivo tests for efficacy as well as for other bioactivities and toxicity (Activity 2). Then, the optimized method is taken to a pilot scale by scaling up the production process (Activity 3). Finally, this will lead to the filing of related patents and the design of the subsequent business strategy (Activity 4).
The Bluebiotech4Pain project aims to unleash marine resources for the treatment of diseases through marine biotechnology: the development of a marine-derived analgesic for chronic pain treatment, through an industrial biotechnological production process.
Previous studies by Sea4Us have shown analgesic bioactivity from a molecule extracted from marine bacteria from Sagres, Portugal. The proof of concept revealed good levels of efficacy in animal models.
This project consists in the optimization of the biotechnological production method of such compound (or of its variants), while maintaining or even improving its bioactivity, leading to the establishment of a scaled-up production method and the design of the business strategy. It is essential for taking the Sea4Us’s analgesic program to market: generate material to perform preclinical trials and engage into a licensing agreement with a large pharmaceutical company, which will then conclude drug development.
The activities of this project include:
- Activity 1: Biotechnological production optimization, supported by chemical synthesis; strain and fermentation process development;
- Activity 2: Testing produced compounds by electrophysiology and in vivo assays for efficacy, as well as for other bioactivities and toxicity;
- Activity 3: Scaling up the optimized production process to a pilot scale;
- Activity 4: Filing of patents and designing the subsequent business strategy.
In this project, NOVA Medical School (Lisbon, Portugal) will focus on microbiology and growth optimization, SINTEF (Trondheim, Norway) will work on strain and fermentation process development and scale-up, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway) will use its expertise in bioactivity and toxicity testing, and Sea4Us (Sagres and Lisbon, Portugal) will apply its knowledge of electrophysiology and in vivo assays, and also of intellectual property and pharmaceutical business.
Blue Growth Program
The Blue Growth Program’s main objective is to increase value creation and sustainable growth in the Portuguese blue economy. In addition, the intention is to increase research and promote education and training in marine and maritime areas.
The Program will contribute to the overall objective of reducing economic and social disparities and strengthened bilateral relation through funding of different projects within five outcomes under the following three Program areas:
- Business development, Innovation and SMEs;
- Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeship and Youth Entrepreneurship.
The five outcomes are:
- Increased competitiveness for Portuguese enterprises within the focus area of Blue Growth;
- Resource efficiency of enterprises in marine sector supported;
- Enhanced performance of Portuguese research organisations;
- Education, training and cooperation in marine and maritime issues enhanced and:
- Enhanced collaboration between the beneficiary and the donor states involved in the program.
Approximately 70% of the eligible expenditure is allocated to “Business Development, Innovation and SMEs” with special focus on Blue Growth. 30% of the total eligible expenditure of the Program is set aside for the components addressing “Research” and “Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeship and Youth Entrepreneurship”.
The synergy between the business, research and education and a holistic approach in the program will contribute to a sustainable Blue Growth in Portugal. The research will support businesses with a research, development and innovation component, strengthening their competitiveness in the market. The education component will promote the improvement of human resources skills and awareness in marine and maritime issues.
This Program aims at increased value creation and sustainable growth, including long-term marine and maritime economic growth, social cohesion (in terms of local communities and maritime activities), and marine environmental protection.
The Program will contribute to the overall objectives of the EEAGrants by financing initiatives to increase competitiveness and profitability among Portuguese SMEs and bring more innovation in their products, services and processes. Also, the program will strengthen the cooperation between donor and beneficiary countries, through joint projects and ventures.
The program has 44,7M€ funding which 70% should be dedicated to the business and innovation area.
MORE EEAGrants INFO
Through the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, signed in the city of Oporto in May 1992, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are partners, in the internal market, of the Member States of the European Union.
As a way of promoting a continuous and balanced strengthening of the economic and trade relations, the parties of the European Economic Area Agreement have established a Multiannual Financial Mechanism, known as the EEA Grants, through which Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway provide financial support to Member States of the European Union with the greatest deviations from the European average GDP per capita, which includes Portugal.
EEA Grants Objectives
The two major EEA Grants objectives are:
- To reduce the economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area;
- To strengthen the bilateral relations between beneficiary and donor countries.