Hawaii-based Cardax partners with Capsugel to market astaxanthin

Hawaii-based pharmaceutical company Cardax is partnering with major drug capsule manufacturer Capsugel to mass-produce the anti-inflammatory nutritional supplement called astaxanthin.

Cardax, which recently figured out how to synthesize the naturally occurring substance, is turning to Capusgel to figure out how to produce astaxanthin on a mass-scale and sell it to the public.

The financial details of the deal or a timeline for when a product will be available were not available.


Capsugel is a private company that manufactures and sells drug capsules. It was formerly a division of Pfizer (NYSE: PFE).

Astaxanthin naturally occurs in microalgae, yeast and salmon, but is difficult to harvest into a pure product, said David Watumull, president and CEO of Aiea-based Cardax (Other OTC: CDXI), which became a publicly traded company in February. He said the product is an anti-inflammatory meant to help the aging population and individuals with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s and arthritis.

“We want to create a new class of anti-inflammatory products,” he said. “This new class has the potency of the strongest anti-inflammatory, but not their side effects. Our secret sauce is that it’s safe.”

Watumull began working on synthesizing astaxanthin in 2001 as the CEO of Hawaii Biotech. He co-founded Cardax in 2006, which focuses on the applications for astaxanthin.

Another local company that makes astaxanthin naturally is Cyanotech Corp. (Nasdaq: CYAN) on the Big Island. The company makes its products by harvesting the chemical from algae that’s grown in large pools and encapsulating it into a pill.

View original article at: Hawaii-based Cardax partners with Capsugel to market astaxanthin


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