Solarvest’s Algal Platform Successfully Produces Therapeutic Proteins for Medical Use

MONTAGUE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND–(Marketwired – March 16, 2015) – SOLARVEST BIOENERGY INC. (TSX VENTURE:SVS) (“Solarvest”) announces that it has used its Algal based production Platform to express bioActive therapeutic proteins.

Mr. Gerri Greenham, CEO stated that, “This proof of concept confirms the ability of Solarvest’s patented Algal Platform to efficiently produce complex bioactive therapeutic compounds.”

Solarvest’s Algal Platform has many advantages as compared to current industry processes, which utilize E.coli or yeast in the production and can cost millions of dollars per gram of bioactive compound:

  • Micro-algae harbour no known human pathogens, unlike the currently utilized human, bacterial and animal cells lines
  • Algae are capable of high quality, volume production of active proteins
  • Algae can be grown in sterile bioreactors under controlled conditions

This breakthrough could substantially reduce the cost of production, with the potential to increase the economical access to hundreds of products for human and animal health.

The proof of concept study required Solarvest’s Algal Platform to produce Bone Morphogenetic Protein(s) (BMP) and was completed using experts at the University of Prince Edward Island. The goal of the study was to determine if the algae-produced protein would be active and induce osteogenesis in undifferentiated stem cells. The successful result, in conjunction with previous positive results with other complex proteins, confirms that Solarvest’s Algal Platform is capable of producing active recombinant proteins. In the case of human recombinant BMP proteins, Solarvest successfully produced a complex, soluble, properly folded and dimerized protein(s). A dimer is two individual proteins units joined together and BMP is only active when presented as a dimer with the proper three dimensional configuration. The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) provided technical and business advisory services, as well as funding assistance to support the trial.

Future plans call for the Company to produce a range of bioactive therapeutic proteins to confirm the scope and versatility of the Solarvest Algal Platform. Solarvest will explore avenues to commercialize BMP for veterinary and human applications and will seek supportive partnerships with companies that are active in this and other bioactive protein markets.

BMP Background

One current supplier of BMP sheds some light on the complexity and cost of the process:
In order to just get a bioreactor up, qualified and validated, it can cost anywhere from $400 million to $2 billion. And that reactor can only make that one protein. One batch of BMP requires a staff of more than 100 people to produce and monitor the material, which undergoes approximately 200 quality control tests.

BMP is one of the most researched proteins in human medicine and is used to enhance bone growth and speed up healing/post-surgical recovery time(s) in human orthopedic surgery. Due to its extreme cost (estimated between $4.6 million to $25 million per gram depending on purity/quality), its use has, until now, been limited. The Company’s decision to test with BMP was based on the challenge of producing a very complex product and supporting expertise at UPEI. The current market is reported to be in excess of a billion dollars. An information sheet on BMP may also be obtained from Solarvest.


View original article at: Solarvest Achieves Significant Breakthrough


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